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Contact: Mike Andrus, 804 226-1981 x. 30
On Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13, 2009, Richmond National Battlefield Park will present special living history and ranger-led programs at the Shelton House also known as Rural Plains. During the weekend living history volunteers will portray General Winfield Scott Hancock and his staff as they were headquartered on the lawn of the Shelton home. Costumed interpreters portraying Federal artillerymen will present artillery firing demonstrations at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00 on Saturday and 11:00 and 1:00 on Sunday, and will also discuss the dramatic role of artillery in the battle of Totopotomoy Creek. Park rangers will offer tours of the home’s first floor throughout the day and present battlefield tours following each artillery demonstration. The programs will run Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 3:00. Parking for this event will be available at Rural Point Elementary School, 7161 Studley Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23116. The park will provide shuttle service to and from the Shelton House. The event, parking and shuttle service are free.
The public is also invited to visit the historic Polegreen Church site at 6411 Heatherwood Drive off Rural Point Road in Mechanicsville. This site also figured prominently in the Civil War story of Rural Plains and offers interpretation about these events.
About the Shelton House
Rural Plains, built ca. 1725, stood in the vortex of the May 29-31, 1864, battle of Totopotomoy Creek. During that engagement Union General Winfield Hancock’s Second Army Corps entrenched near the Shelton House facing the forces under General Robert E. Lee on the opposite banks of the creek. On May 30 and 31, Union infantry launched repeated assaults in a failed attempt to carry the Confederate lines. Artillery fire from both sides erupted periodically into ear-shattering cannonades. Southern cannonballs severely damaged the Shelton home that still shows signs of the damage.