Fredericksburg Features

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History calendar

Please enter information at Select “History” category. You may also email (subject: History Calendar), or fax  540/373-8455. Deadline: noon Thursday preceding Tuesday publication. 540/374-5461.


Children’s Programs at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center.  9:30–10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 18; Friday, July 20; Saturday, July 21. One-hour interactive program for children ages 6–12 from Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Learn about soldier life, design regimental flag, become Signal Corps members. Free. 1013 Lafayette Blvd. No reservations  required, but space is limited. Questions? Want to bring a large group? Call 540/373-6122.

Honoring Kate Waller Barrett.  7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 19. Join the Stafford County Historical Society as it pays tribute to Stafford’s own Kate Waller Barrett, as Virginia Department of Historic Resources prepares a state historical marker for autumn placement in Widewater. Dr. Barrett was a prominent Virginia physician, humanitarian, philanthropist, sociologist and social reformer. Events will include an illustrated talk by Lee Woolf, retired Free Lance–Star editor and writer. Refreshments, including Barrett family favorites, will be served. In the Board of Supervisors chambers, Stafford Administration Building, 1300 Courthouse Road. staffordcountyhistorical

Historian-Led Tour of Cedar Mountain Battlefield in Culpeper County. 7 p.m., Friday, July 20. As part of the National Park Service’s summer  “History at Sunset” program, NPS historians Greg Mertz and Ray Brown will give a presentation, “Stunned at Cedar Mountain,” on the battlefield where Confederate commander Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson wielded his saber Aug. 9, 1862,  to rally his men during desperate, hand-to-hand fighting. This year’s Friday “Sunset” programs feature 10 different sites in and around Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. 90 minutes. Free. or the park’s Facebook page. 540/373-6122 or 540/786-2880. Look for Cedar Mountain Battlefield sign at James Madison Highway (U.S. 15) and General Winder Road (State Route 657). Drive 0.2 mile on Route 657 to parking area.

Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center Summer Camp.  July 18–July 20. Each day, camp will feature

 a different Fredericksburg local who will help students create art using a different medium inspired by natural environment.  Students’ art  will be displayed. 540/371-3037, email edu, visit

Civil War History Day in Culpeper County.  Saturday, July 21. Newly formed African American Heritage Alliance Inc. and co-sponsor Friends of Wilderness Battlefield host three-part, daylong program exploring Civil War military strategy, political debate and  impact of war and emancipation on a rural community. Come for one part, or the whole day.   8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m, a free symposium—“Anguish and Freedom: The Yankees Descend Upon Culpeper”—at Germanna Community College’s Daniel Center in Culpeper includes historian Clark B. Hall, Dr. Daniel Sutherland, author of “Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community,” John Hennessy, chief historian of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and Dr. James Bryant,  author and professor of history at Shenandoah University. Snacks, lunch. From 1 to 5 p.m., rarely seen stops on first-of-its-kind bus tour, “The Rappahannock: A River to Freedom,” will include mountaintop view of county, site of its largest slave-holding plantation, a celebrated refugee river crossing and sites reflecting former slaves’ return to region as members of United States Colored Troops. $60, with water and snacks; limited seating.  “An evening with Dr. Dan Sutherland,” 6–8 p.m., a reception at Holly Hill in Reva will feature food, Virginia wines, beautiful venue. Casual attire;  $50. Register or contact Zann Nelson at 540/547-2395 or

Civil War surgeon returns to Ellwood Manor. 11:15 a.m.–4:45 p.m., Saturday, July 21. John R. Pelletier will interpret Civil War medicine on Ellwood’s restored second floor. Dr. T. Adrian Wheat, museum founder and historian of Civil War medicine for more than 40 years,  will accompany Pelletier. Pelletier aims to dispel  stereotypical views of wartime medical practices.  Free; donations welcome. Ellwood—a historic home and  battlefield hospital in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park—is off State Route 20, just west of   Route 3, on the Orange–Spotsylvania line.

Volunteer Interest Night and Open House, Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25. Behind-the-scenes tours of Catherine W. Jones McKann Center and historic Town Hall/Market House collection, led by Education and Volunteer Coordinator  Janelle Kennedy. Volunteers will share insights, experiences. Free; no pre-registration required. Questions? Contact Kennedy at 540/371-3037, ext. 142, or Volunteers serve as Museum Store staff, front-line and gallery assistants, tour leaders, special event staff, education assistants and researchers, and in graphic design, photography, administrative duties, more. Museum documents volunteer hours to fulfill service project requirements.

 Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s winter encampment at Moss Neck plantation.   7 p.m., Friday, July 27. National Park Service historian Frank O’Reilly  will lead this first-time public tour of Caroline County estate where Jackson spent his last winter. Part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park’s “History at Sunset” series.  Free. See or 540/373-6122. Park along Burma Road (State Route 766), off U.S. 17, six miles east of New Post. Tour of grounds only. Flashlights strongly recommended. Street address: Moss Neck Manor, 18253 Moss Neck Manor Road, Fredericksburg, Va. 22408.


Brandy Station Foundation battlefield tour.  10 a.m.–12 p.m., Saturday, July 28. Focus on Beverly Ford and St. James Church areas on June 9, 1863. Car-caravan tour; meet at Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station.  $10 adult, children under 12 free. First tour in series covers morning fighting between commands of Union Gen. John Buford and his West Point classmate, Confederate Gen. William E. “Grumble” Jones.

Beach-glass jewelry trunk show at the Museum Store. Saturday, July 28, noon to 4 p.m. Beach glass artist Courtney Gillen will feature one-of-a-kind necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets. She uses beach glass from Hawaii, freshwater pearls, and recycled sterling silver using traditional metalsmithing techniques. 215 William St. Contact store manager Ellen Smith Fortunato, 540/371-3037, ext. 126, or

“Antietam: The Landscapes and Farmsteads.” 2 p.m., Sunday, July 29. (Rescheduled from April). Brandy Station Foundation lecture at Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy Road, Culpeper, by Kevin Walker, historian and cultural resource specialist at Antietam National Battlefield. How did people experience the battle and  aftermath? Free. Donations welcome. Refreshments.

 “The Bone Collectors.”  7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3: National Park Service historians Don Pfanz, Noel Harrison will relate a new chapter in the story of local Civil War battlefield burials.  Free. Meet at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Lafayette Blvd. Part of  Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park’s “History at Sunset” series.

 Battle of Cedar Mountain 150th Anniversary Weekends. Aug. 3–5, Aug. 9–12. See first weekend’s schedule, below.

 World Première Reception for “Marching Through Culpeper.”  5–7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3. Daniel Technology Center,  Culpeper, with celebrity guests including Dr. James Robertson, Dr. Frank Stringfellow  and J.E.B Stuart IV. Celebrate book’s coming to life on stage, with music, wine, food. $95 includes reception, admission to play’s première with priority seating and  intermission dessert buffet. Business or period attire. Mail checks to Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield, Box 1853, Culpeper, Va. 22701 by Friday, July 27. Details?  540/825-5549 before 8 p.m.

 Multimedia Première Performance of “Marching Through Culpeper.” 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3. Eastern View High School, 16332 Cyclone Way, Culpeper, Va. 22701. Advance tickets: adults, $18; under age 18, $9. At door: adults, $20; under 18,  $10. Tickets good at any performance. No credit cards. Proceeds benefit battlefield preservation. Details? Call 540/825-5549 before 8 p.m.  Buy tickets in advance at Stellar One, Main Street, Culpepe or in Lake of the Woods; and Museum of Culpeper History. Online at or

 Walking tour,  downtown Culpeper.  9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Includes locations in the book and stage production “Marching Through Culpeper,” conducted by author Virginia Morton. Start at depot Visitor Center, 111 Commerce St. $10, adults; $5, under 18. Reservations  recommended. or 540/825-9147. Benefits Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield.

Civil War encampment at Salubria. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Rare Georgian manor house was built in 1757. Re-enactors’ camp visits, free. Tours of Salubria, $10.;  540/423-1700

Luncheon with Dr. James Robertson at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford.  12:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4. 16589 Edwards Shop Road, Remington. innatkellys After barbecue buffet, the esteemed scholar and retired Virginia Tech history professor will speak on conflict between Confederate Gens. A.P. Hill and “Stonewall” Jackson at Cedar Mountain. Dr. Robertson will sign his newest book, “The Untold Civil War,” published by National Geographic. Other activities include a cavalry and artillery demonstrations and hay ride tours of Kelly’s Ford, the most heavily used ford of the Civil War. Silent auction will benefit the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. Tickets $40; casual attire. Mail checks to FCMB, Box 1853, Culpeper, Va. 22701. or call 540/825-5549 before 8 p.m.

“Marching Through Culpeper.” 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4, and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 5. Second and third multimedia performances of of this story of love across the battle lines, based on the popular historical novel. Eastern View High School, 16332 Cyclone Way, Culpeper. See above for ticket prices.

“A Soldier’s Nightfall: A Campfire Program.” 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 10. National Park Service historians Beth Parnicza and Peter Maugle will lead this first such get-together for History at Sunset. They will examine soldiers’ feelings as nightfall descended on the Fredericksburg battlefield. About 45 minutes. Lawn chairs recommended.  Free. 540/373-6122;

Summer hours at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.  Here’s the schedule through Labor Day: 9 a.m.–6 p.m., at Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center and Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center; 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at the “Stonewall” Jackson Shrine; Ellwood: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. at Ellwood Manor on Orange–Spotsylvania line, off State Route 3 (open weekends and holidays only after Aug. 12); 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at Wilderness Exhibit Shelter on State Route 20 in Orange County (historian on duty daily, 10:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m., 1:15–5:15 p.m.); Spotsylvania Exhibit Shelter off Route 613 (historian on duty daily, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.); Old Salem Church off State Route 3 in Spotsylvania, 3–6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (ends Aug. 12).

 “Thrill on the Hill.” Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center exhibit hosts look at Soap Box Derby history in Fredericksburg. Features retired race  cars and memorabilia from the derby’s mid-century “golden age” to present. Through August. 540/371-3037 or

“Bricks and Boards in the ’Burg.”  Join the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center and Hallowed Ground Tours on Saturdays for architectural walking tours of historic downtown. Hourlong tours depart Market Square  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/adult, $1/child.  Discounted museum admission for  participants. Hallowed Ground Tours: 540/809-3918.


Free Family Open House Day, Virginia Historical Society.   10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday, July 21. Games, historical demonstrations, trivia, register-to-win opportunities, music, crafts, children’s activities, behind-scenes tours, book sale, more. Admission to museum complex and all activities is free. 428 North Boulevard, Richmond. 804/358-4901;

Jr. Ambassador Passport Travels. VHS, Richmond. July 23–27. Day camp for children 7–10 to explore culture, food, geography and music from countries where Virginia native Alexander Weddell served as a diplomat. Each day focuses on a different country. Registration: $135 for VHS members’ children and grandchildren; $150 for nonmembers. Reservations required; 804/353-4251 or email Tracy Bryan at

The Queen and the USA: Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee in America.” Noon, Thursday, July 26. Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. A Banner Lecture.  Using illustrations from his new book, “The Queen and the USA,” H. Edward “Chip” Mann will describe Elizabeth’s special relationship with Virginia and all of America on the anniversary of her 60 years as queen of England.

 “Live After 5” evening performances, Colonial Williamsburg.  Through Aug. 25, except Sundays. Colonial Williamsburg guests get a complimentary taste of  tour and program options, with discounts on music, dance and theater. Reservations or  passes: Call 800-HISTORY or visit


 Young Virginia House Naturalists Summer Camp.  July 30–Aug. 3. Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. Day camp lets children 9–11 explore natural history and uniqueness of  place. Emphasis on habitats, native plants, eco-friendly gardening, composting and recycling. Registration: $135 for VHS members’ children and grandchildren; $150 for nonmembers. Reservations required; 804/353-4251 or email


 Friday Fireworks, Colonial Williamsburg. 9 p.m., Fridays through Aug. 24, on Governor’s Palace Green, “A Salute to the Nation” presents the sights, songs and words that form the idea of America. Fireworks display concludes the event. Free.