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Contact: Mike Andrus, 804 226-1981 x. 30
Richmond National Battlefield Park will present a weekend series of special programs on September 29 and 30, 2007 to commemorate the 143rd anniversary of the 1864 battles of Chaffin's Farm at Fort Harrison battlefield. Activities begin at 10:00 on Saturday September 29 and include a special evening presentation at 7:30. Sunday's schedule runs from 10:00 to 4:00. All events are free. Parking is available at the Fort Harrison Visitor Center located eight miles east of Richmond on Battlefield Park Road off Va. Route 5.
In late September 1864 Union armies under General U.S. Grant assaulted the Richmond and Petersburg fortifications simultaneously in an effort to weaken or possibly break the Confederate defenses. The fighting outside Richmond at New Market Heights and Fort Harrison proved the most serious threat to the Confederate capital prior to its fall.
Join us for special walking tours throughout both days that highlight some of the best preserved earthworks built to protect Richmond between 1862 and 1865. Park historians will retrace the Union attack route that led to the capture of Fort Harrison. At nearby Fort Gilmer visitors can learn the fate of one regiment from the United States Colored Troops that attempted to break through Confederate lines.
"Living history" volunteers representing Union and Confederate troops that participated in the battles will be camped inside Fort Harrison all weekend. Commemorative programs include Artillery Firing demonstrations, interviews with Union General Godfrey Weitzel and staff and special activities for kids to become a Junior Ranger. Be sure to include a visit to the recently renovated 1930's Log Cabin Visitor Center where the park's new orientation video on Fort Harrison will be shown hourly.
Saturday evening at 7:30 pm the park will present "A Soldier's Recollections – Fort Harrison by Candlelight." Join us for this special presentation featuring local historians Wes Wilson and Chauncy Herring portraying two prominent African American participants in the battles for Richmond – one a Medal of Honor recipient, the other, one of the few black correspondents traveling with the Union army Period music and visits to Union and Confederate campsites complete the evening. Meet at Fort Harrison's Log Cabin visitor center and be sure to bring along a flashlight, blanket or lawn chair and insect repellent.