Special Events

Sign with arrowhead and arrows reading "NPS Event Ahead" with law enforcement ranger and park car in background
The park holds many special events throughout the year!

NPS Photo

The following are special events scheduled at the park or at institutions hosting programs by or in cooperation with park historical staff. For more information, including possible schedule changes due to inclement weather or other factors, please call the park at 540-693-3200 and/or check the park's facebook page.

For more details on each event, check our Events Calendar.

Missed a program you really wanted to attend? Check to see if it was livestreamed, and watch from the comfort of your own home!

This listing contains events either within the park, or events hosted or facilitated by park staff or one of our partners. Looking for other Civil War events in the Fredericksburg area? Check out the Fredericksburg community event calendar for more!

Note: The list below does not include the park's popular, free History at Sunset programs that occur on Friday evenings each summer, or our Fit-History Hiking Series in the spring and fall.

Events are added as dates and times are confirmed. Please check back as event dates draw nearer for more details.

Lafayette in the Wilderness

Saturday, June 3, 1 p.m.

Ellwood Manor, 36380 Constitution Hwy, Locust Grove 22508

On Saturday, June 3, 2017, at 1:00 P.M., Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is pleased to host a presentation by National Park Service Historian Peter Maugle on the General Marquis de Lafayette and his 1781 campaign in Virginia. That campaign included a night in which his forces camped on Ellwood Plantation near the site of the Wilderness Tavern. Living Historian John Yurechko will also be present, along with Ranger Maugle, to discuss Revolutionary War uniforms, weapons and camp life. A Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield volunteer will be available to lead two walking tours to the 1781 campsite. The first tour will start at 11:30 A.M. and the second tour will start shortly after the 1:00 P.M. talk and the question and answer session concludes – at approximately 2:00 P.M. All events will be held at Ellwood Manor, 36380 Constitution Highway (Rt. 20), Locust Grove, Virginia.

The walking tour is approximately 45 minutes long and crosses fairly rugged terrain so be sure to wear sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and don’t forget your bug spray. A bottle of water and a hat is also recommended. Be sure to bring your camera!

From 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., FoWB volunteers will be available to assist visitors with possible ancestral connections to the Battle of the Wilderness or Ellwood, in the Heritage Program tent on the grounds, while other FoWB volunteers will be inside the house to talk with visitors and answer questions.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit our website at www.fowb.org.

Ellwood Manor is owned by the National Park Service. Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is pleased to steward the property in partnership with the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. For more information or directions, please visit us at www.fowb.org

Campfire Programs 2017

The series of three Campfire Programs will give visitors and historians a chance to explore more topical themes. All campfire programs will take place at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center. All begin at 8 p.m. and are free. Bring a lawn chair!

Sat. June 10: Brave Enough to be Afraid: Fear and Courage in Battle.
Beth Parnicza will use her immense knowledge of local battles to explore the very human reaction to combat—a reaction that embodied both fear and courage.

Sat. July 22: “We Wished for Night”: Darkness and Night on the Battlefield.
For some, night meant relief. For others, it intensified fear. Peter Maugle will look at how battlefields changed when the sun went down, and what it meant for those who had no choice but to endure in place.

Sat. Aug. 12: Aftermath: The Wounded and the Dead.
John Hennessy will look at the immense efforts to cope with the aftermath of battle in the Fredericksburg region, from treating the wounded, to burying the dead, to, finally, according the dead dignified burials.

Looking for History at Sunset? Check its page for the schedule!

Living History at Ellwood Manor

Sunday, June 18, 10am – Noon
Saturday, June 17, 10am – 5pm

Ellwood Manor, 36380 Constitution Hwy, Locust Grove 22508

Contact www.fowb.org/index.php/news/events

Civil War Medicine Living History demonstrations: 10am – 5pm.
Special Civil War Medicine and Hospital Presentation: 1pm.
Guided Walking Tours to Wilderness Tavern hospital site: 11:30am and 2:30pm.

Civil War Medicine Living History demonstrations: 10am – Noon

Civil War Medical History at Ellwood

Please join us on Saturday and Sunday, June 17–18, 2017, for demonstrations by Living Historians regarding medical practices during the American Civil War. Medicine and surgery methods are a captivating – and often misunderstood – aspects of the Civil War. Living Historians representing the 2nd Corps Hospital Unit (CSA) will be on site all day Saturday and until noon on Sunday to talk with visitors about various facets of Civil War medical and hospital procedures and address some of the common misconceptions of the care and

Special programs will also be offered on Saturday, June 17. Join us at 1pm Saturdayfor a presentation discussing the wounding of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Civil War Medicine in general, and Ellwood as a Confederate Convalescent Hospital following the Battle of Chancellorsville in May of 1863. Jackson was the most famous of the thousands of wounded Confederate soldiers treated at the Wilderness Tavern and Ellwood hospital complex during and immediately after the fighting at Chancellorsville. After the vast majority of the casualties were evacuated to points further south days after the battle ended, those so badly injured that they might not survive the trip remained at Ellwood for up to several months.

Guided walking tours to the Wilderness Tavern hospital site and the Wilderness Crossroads will also be offered on Saturday at 11:30am and approximately 2:30pm on Saturday – following the 1pm program. General Jackson’s left arm was amputated near the tavern after his wounding at Chancellorsville. The tour takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes and begins at the small gate just behind the house. It is approximately 1.5 miles in length over unpaved terrain. Visitors will see parts of historic road traces of the Orange Turnpike, Germanna Plank Road, and the Ellwood Carriage road, as well as crossing over the Wilderness Run on a solid wooden footbridge. Sturdy walking shoes and appropriate hiking clothes are recommended, as well as using sunscreen, insect repellent, and bringing along a bottle of water.

Friends of Wilderness Battlefield (FoWB) volunteers will be available to assist visitors with possible ancestral connections with the Battle of the Wilderness or Ellwood, in the Heritage Program tent on the grounds.

The historic structure Ellwood will be open from 10am to 5pm and FoWB interpreters will be available to talk with visitors and answer questions.

All programs are free and open to the public.


Last updated: June 5, 2017

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Mailing Address:

120 Chatham Ln
Fredericksburg, VA 22405


(540) 693-3200

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