National Park Service Announces Summer Ranger Conducted and New Battlefield Series Programs

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Date: June 6, 2015


National Park Service
News Release

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2015

ERIC CAMPBELL (540) 868-0937


National Park Service Announces Summer
Ranger Conducted and New "Battlefield Series" Programs

 Middletown, VA ----- Cedar Creek and Belle Grove
National Historical Park is once again offering a full-slate of ranger-conducted programs throughout this summer and fall. Programs will be offered on a daily basis from Saturday, June 13 through August 16, and then into the fall, as staffing permits.

These free programs tell the park's many stories related to the rich cultural history of the Shenandoah Valley, its settlement, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on both the local communities and the nation as a whole.

New this year will be the "Battlefield Series" Programs. This series of two hour ranger programs will highlight numerous park sites and resources associated with the battle. Programs in June include "The Valiant Stand
of Thomas' Bridge," "A Generation Lost: The Tragic Deaths of Stephen Ramseur and Charles Lowell," and "Gen. Custer at Cedar Creek."Future programs will cover the subjects such as, the causes of the Union collapse on the morning of the battle, the Union defense of the Valley Pike, archeology at Cedar Creek, the afternoon Confederate defense, and many others.

"This new series of programs will offer an opportunity for visitors to explore these topics in a more in-depth fashion," explains Chief Ranger Eric Campbell."Most of these presentations will also cover topics rarely discussed before and also will allow visitors access to sites and resources normally closed to the public." The "Battlefield Series" will be offered each Saturday in the summer, at 2:00 pm.

Additionally, the park will also offer its regular slate of ranger-led programs which include:

Presented daily will be Cedar Creek and Belle Grove "in a Box" –a 30 minute overview on the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley and the Battle of Cedar Creek.This interactive program, for both adults and children, uses various props (taken out of a box) and the surrounding landscape features to "create" and tell the park's many stories by literally placing visitors "in the middle of the park." Offered daily at 11:30 a.m. (Sundays at 2:30 p.m.) on the front lawn of Belle Grove.

Battle of Cedar Creek TourA two-hour guided tour, using a car-caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle),will cover the Battle of Cedar Creek in a chronological fashion.This 10 mile tour follows the major vents of the fighting and includes approximately 5 or 6 stops at the key landmarks associated with the battle.Tours begin at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters (8437 Valley Pike, Middletown).Normally offered four days a week.

"From Back Country to Breadbasket" The Peopling of the Shenandoah ValleyThis 30 minute overview program covers the history of the Shenandoah Valley from its creation, through the eve of the Civil War. This program will be presented on the front lawn of Belle Grove.

"To Battlefield and Beyond" War Comes to the Shenandoah Valley This 45 minute program examines the many military campaigns and battles that occurred in the Valley and their effect upon the local communities. Presented at Hupp's Hill Civil War Park. 

The 1862 or 1864 Valley Campaign "in a Box" These 30 minute programs provide an overview of either the 1862 or 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns. This interactive presentation uses the surrounding landscape features and various props (taken from a box) to "create" the Valley and place visitors "in the
middle of the campaign." Meet on the front lawn of Belle Grove.

Middletown Civil War Walking Tours Discover how the citizens of Middletown lived through those difficult times and how the war impacted their lives.Meet the ranger for a 90 minute walking tour at the intersection of Main Street and First Street, Middletown.Offered at 5:00 p.m. on the 2nd Saturday of each month, June-October. (June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12 and October 10)

History at Sunset
A series of special programs will be presented on select Friday evenings throughout the summer and fall.These tours will cover a wide variety of subjects related to the park's rich cultural history and give visitors an opportunity to see sites not normally open to the public.Explore and learn about some of the many "hidden gems" of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP.Tours will be 60-90 minutes. The program schedule will be released at a later date.

 For more information or for the latest schedule call (540) 869-3051 or

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 About Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park:
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove
commemorates a nationally significant Civil War landscape and antebellum plantation by sharing the story of Shenandoah Valley history from early settlement through the Civil War and beyond. The park is embedded within the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District, a National Heritage Area.


Created on December 19, 2002, the park encompasses approximately 3,700 acres across three counties and ncludes the key partner sites of Belle Grove Plantation (owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and managed by Belle Grove, Inc.), Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation lands and Headquarters, Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation lands, and a developing Shenandoah County Park. The partner sites continue to
be owned and operated independently.

Last updated: June 6, 2015

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 700
Middletown, VA 22645



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