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History Calendar for May 20-28, 2012

Lou Carter Jr. of B Company, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, advises Kevin Williams of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, on weaponry during a Civil War living history event.

Town & County section’s History Calendar for week of week of May 20-26, 2012


“President Lincoln in Stafford and Fredericksburg.” Historian Jane Hollenbeck Conner, author of “Lincoln in Stafford,” will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24. Afterward, Conner will display never-before-seen item from Lincoln’s funeral procession. Her books will be available at a reduced rate; all proceeds go to Stafford Museum Fund. Event is part of Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series at England Run branch of Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., off U.S. 17 in southern Stafford; 540/899-1703; librarypoint .org.

Preschool Palette. 10 a.m. Thursday, May 24. Classes at Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont introduce art and art museums to children 2 to 5. Students will enjoy a picture book, view original art and make an art project. Michelle Crow–Dolby, 540/654-1851,; 224 Washington St., Falmouth.

Volunteers needed for Memorial Day. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Fredericksburg Chapter 163, needs volunteers for the luminaria program: setup of bags, candles, etc., on Saturday, May 26, at 9 a.m., and to place flags on graves on Sunday, May 27, at 2 p.m., at Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery. Wagons are helpful. The group’s Memorial Day program will be at 2 p.m. Monday, May 28, in Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery.

Memorial Day weekend luminaria at Fredericksburg National Cemetery. 8–11 p.m., Saturday, May 26. The National Park Service will host its 16th annual tribute to American soldiers who have given their lives for this country. Members of Mattaponi and Aquia districts of the Boy Scouts of America and the Commonwealth Council Girl Scouts of the USA will light 15,300 candles—one for each soldier in the cemetery. A bugler will play taps every 30 minutes. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg, historians throughout the cemetery will tell stories of those who died in the fight. They will also be on duty along Sunken Road to talk about the surviving battle-scarred Innis House and the Richard Kirkland Memorial. Park in UMW lot at William Street and Sunken Road. Fredericksburg Trolley will provide shuttle service. Rain date: Sunday, May 27. Free. 540/373-6122. See or the park’s Facebook page.

Dan 'Big French' Janzegers gives a sunset walking tour of Fredericksburg's City Cemetery and adjoining Confederate Cemetery. (CLINT SCHEMMER/THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

Tour of Fredericksburg City and Confederate cemeteries. 6:30–8 p.m., Saturday, May 26. Amateur historian Dan “Big French” Janzegers will cover notables, military burials and local citizens, and highlight his latest research in the third annual version of his walking tour of the City Cemetery and Confederate Cemetery in Fredericksburg. Janzegers is an honorary member of the Major General John Bankhead Magruder Chapter 258, Military Order of Stars and Bars, and Matthew Fontaine Maury Camp 1722, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Free. Donations to Fredericksburg City Cemetery are welcome. Rain date: Sunday, May 27.

Memorial Day ceremony, Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery. 10 a.m., Monday, May 28. Fredericksburg resident William Freehling, historian and author of “The Road to Disunion” and other works, will deliver keynote speech during Memorial Day program hosted by Ladies Memorial Association. Free. 540/373-5177. Bring chairs or blankets.

Memorial Day procession, from Riverfront Park to Fredericksburg National Cemetery. 10:30 a.m. Monday,  May 28. The  National Park Service, in conjunction with members of the Fredericksburg-area community and the congregation of Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site), will host a procession from Riverfront Park on Sophia Street to the National Cemetery. The mile-long procession, beginning at 10:30 a.m., will start up Charlotte Street.  Civil War re-enactors representing the 23rd Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops, will lead the 2012 march, which will re-create an 1871 march by white and black citizens that culminated in the first multi-racial Memorial Day program held in the town. Like the 1871 event, this year’s march will conclude at the  National Cemetery in time for participants to take part in the cemetery’s 12 p.m. Memorial Day exercises.  Shiloh Baptist Church’s former pastor, the Rev. Lawrence A. Davies, will deliver the keynote address. Both the procession and the Memorial Day program are free to the public. Questions? Call 540/373-6122.

Memorial Day commemoration at Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Noon, Monday, 28. The National Park Service will sponsor a Memorial Day program at the National Cemetery, honoring American military personnel who have given their lives for this country.  The Rev. Lawrence A. Davies of Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site) will deliver the keynote address and the Rev. Thomas Hughes of St. George’s Episcopal Church will offer an invocation and benediction.   James Breeden of American Legion Post 55 will lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and will join the Rev. Davies and Dr. David Sam, president of Germanna Community College, in placing a wreath at the foot of the Humphreys Monument. The ceremony is free to the public.  The cemetery is at the junction of Lafayette Boulevard and Sunken Road.  In the event of rain, the program will be held in the auditorium of Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, next to the cemetery.

Memorial Day program, Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery. 2 p.m. Monday, May 28. Hosted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Fredericksburg Chapter 163. The historic cemetery is off Courthouse Road in Spotsylvania Courthouse, off the Spotsylvania Bypass (State Route 2-8).

“Fighting in the Streets.” 7 p.m. Friday, June 8. First of season’s weekly History at Sunset tours, every Friday evening through Aug. 10, by staff of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Meet at Central Rappahannock Regional Library headquarters, 1200 Caroline St., downtown Fredericksburg. Now in its 11th year, the free series explores lesser-known aspects of the Civil War in the Fredericksburg area. This year’s set features three off-site venues: a walking tour of Civil War Falmouth, led by John Hennessy; a tour of Cedar Mountain Battlefield in Culpeper County, led by Frank O’Reilly and Ray Brown; and a look at Lt. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s winter encampment at Moss Neck Plantation in Caroline County, led by Frank O’Reilly. 2012 will also feature the series’ first-ever campfire program. Led by Beth Parnicza and Peter Maugle, it will examine feelings of soldiers as nightfall descended on the Fredericksburg battlefield. See or call the National Park Service at 540/373-6122.

“Medicine—Then and Now.” Noon, Saturday, June 9. Kevin Williams, Air Force veteran and the medic of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, a new re-enactment unit based in Spotsylvania, will talk about how medical practices have changed from the Civil War to the present day. Free. At John J. Wright Educational

& Cultural Center Museum, 7565 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania. 540/ 582-7583, ext. 5545 or 5546. Email or

“Falmouth—Occupied!” 7 p.m., Friday, June 15. A History at Sunset tour led by staff of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Meet at historic Belmont, 224 Washington St., Falmouth. Free.

“Voices and Footsteps: The Bloody Angle.” 7 p.m. Friday, June 22. A History at Sunset tour led by staff of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Meet at McCoull House, Tour Stop 5, Spotsylvania battlefield. Free.

“Bricks and Boards in the ’Burg.” Join Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center and Hallowed Ground Tours on Saturdays for architectural walking tours of historic downtown. Hourlong tours depart Market Square/Town Hall at 10 a.m., and highlight four centuries of history and architecture, the Rappahannock River, spires and steeples of Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg’s Town Hall, Market House and Market Square; $4/adults, $1/children. Discounted museum admission for walk participants. Hallowed Ground Tours: 540/809-3918.


“Drewry’s Bluff: A Marine’s Perspective 1862–1865.” To commemorate the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff’s 150th anniversary, this newly opened exhibit focuses on Confederate and Union Marines who occupied this James River bend during the Civil War. See Civil War artifacts and Marine uniforms, read about the first U.S. Medal of Honor recipient and the military actions of May 1862. Chesterfield County Museum, open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.


“If This Valley Is Lost: Preserving the Legacy of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.” 6–9:30 p.m., Saturday, June 9. Widow Pence Farm, Cross Keys battlefield near Harrisonburg; 150 years after Jackson’s Valley Campaign climaxed at the Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic, guests will gather for a sesquicentennial program co-sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. Barbecue dinner, period music, on-site interpretation, living history, youth activities. Guest speakers include Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr., professor emeritus at Virginia Tech and leading Jackson biographer. $20/person, $30/family (two adults and children under 18); youths 13 and under, free. For tickets, download registration form at, email or call 540/740-4545.

Please enter information at events; select “History” category. You may also email to (subject: History Calendar), or fax to 540/373-8455. Deadline: noon Thursday preceding the section’s Tuesday publication. Questions: 540/368-5029 or 540/374-5461