N National Park Service News Release
For Immediate Release - August 3, 2012
Cn Contact's Name- Donald pfanz
Battle of Fredericksburg 150th Anniversary Events
Fredericksburg, VA - Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park will be sponsoring a full slate of events in December to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg.The programs begin on Friday, December 7, with bus tours of the battlefield, educational programming at the Slaughter Pen Farm and Ferry Farm, a walking tour of the Slaughter Pen Farm, and an evening program at Fredericksburg Presbyterian Church.A "historymobile," sponsored by the Commonwealth of Virginia and featuring special exhibits on the Civil War, will be at Chatham from Friday, December 7, through Sunday, December 9.
On Saturday, December 8, park historians will lead walking tours at various sites both in town and on the battlefield, and there will be special programs offered at Chatham.In addition, historians will be posted at points of interest on the Fredericksburg battlefield, and there will be special activities for children at a station adjacent to the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center.The day's events will conclude in the evening with a program of quotes and music focusing on the soldier experience.
The weekend's commemoration will culminate on Sunday afternoon, December 9.Starting at 1 p.m. at Riverfront Park on Sophia Street, the event will commence with the simulation, using fireworks, of the 100 shells a minute that exploded over town during the bombardment of December 11, 1862.From Riverfront Park the procession will follow the footsteps of Union soldiers as they marched through Fredericksburg to attack Marye's Heights.Visitors will move quietly through the streets of town as church bells toll to honor those soldiers who died in December 1862.The procession will stop at Hurkamp Park for a brief program and then proceed across what was the Bloody Plain in 1862 to the Sunken Road, where participants will place flowers on the famous stone wall.At 3 p.m. the program will climax at the Sunken Road with a program of music, reflection, the names of some of those who died, and the words of those who were there.
Although many of the sesquicentennial events occur on the weekend of December 8-9, the battle itself actually took place a few days later, between the 11th and the 15th of December.On those days, park staff will lead special "real time" tours of the battlefield that coincide with the dates and times of day when the actual events transpired.All of the permanent park historians will be present on these tours.The Tuesday, December 11th, tours will cover Chatham and the upper pontoon crossing, the City Dock and the middle pontoon crossing, and the street fighting that took place on Hawke and Princess Anne streets.On Wednesday, December 12th, the "real time" tours continue with a tour focusing on the looting and bombardment of the town by the Union army.
December 13th marked the zenith of the campaign.On that Thursday, park historians will lead tours that discuss the early assaults on the Sunken Road, the breakthrough at Prospect Hill, and the final, hopeless charges made against Marye's Heights late in the day.The anniversary programs conclude on Saturday, December 15th, with tours of the Yerby house site, Franklin's Crossing, and hospital sites in the town of Fredericksburg.
Except for the bus tours, which cost $20, all park-sponsored events are free to the public.Those wishing to take part in the walking tours are encouraged to dress warmly and to wear comfortable walking shoes, particularly for the Chatham, Bernard's Cabins, Yerby house, and Franklin's Crossing tours, which traverse uneven terrain.
For times, updates, and additional details about the events mentioned above, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/frsp/sesquicentennial.htm.
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Did You Know?
The Spotsylvania History Trail consists of a series of loop trails totaling seven miles. Visitors have options of walking one or more loops or driving the sections that parallel the road and walking the sections that are through the woods and fields.