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Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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A huge Civil War weekend at Chatham Manor, June 11-12

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

This Saturday and Sunday, June 11–12, at Chatham Manor near Fredericksburg, the National Park Service will mark the 150th anniversary of Virginia’s involvement in the American Civil War.

“Into the Abyss: Virginia Goes to War” will blend historians’ talks, historic house tours, musketry and artillery demonstrations, camps of recruit instruction, an evening lecture, a theatrical presentation, and period music on Chatham’s lawn by a Olde Towne Brass, a seven-member band that plays 150-year-old  instruments.

Dr. Caroline Janney, who was a star student of U.Va. historian and author Gary Gallagher, will speak on Virginians in 1861 and their fateful decision to secede from the Union.

Re-enactor extraordinaire Robert Lee Hodge, central figure in  the popular book “Confederates In the Attic,” will coordinate the weekend’s military programs.

In 25 years of living here and visiting the Fredericksburg area’s Civil War battlefields, I don’t recall a more robust set of public programs.

Here’s the complete schedule:

SATURDAY, JUNE 11

9:30 a.m.:  The Ladies Arise: Women Go to War. Join NPS historian Beth Parnicza for a talk focused on women’s experiences in 1861.  The focus will be on expectations of what would soon become known as “the homefront,” as well as on reflections about the role of women in the Civil War.

10 a.m.: The Local Boys Depart. Join NPS historian Jake Struhelka for a talk on the men from the Fredericksburg region who went to war—men of the 9th, 30th, and 47th Virginia regiments and the Fredericksburg Artillery, as they transformed from civilians into soldiers.

10:30 a.m.: Children’s Mustering. All children, along with their families, are invited to experience the process of becoming Civil War soldiers.  Children will participate in the mustering-in process and “become” newly enlisted soldiers.

11 a.m.: Join the Infantry!  Camp of Instruction. Experience the transformation from civilian to soldier life. This 60-minute program will feature participation in the drill and training process that a new recruit would experience.  A drill and firing demonstration conducted by living history volunteers will conclude the camp of instruction.

Noon: Join the Artillery!  Camp of Instruction. Please join park staff for an experiential program designed to replicate the training process for members of a gun crew. This 60-minute event will allow you to engage in the drill practiced by artillery soldiers as they learned the steps of operating an artillery piece.  There will be a firing demonstration at the beginning and conclusion of the camp of instruction.

1 p.m.: Music Goes to War/Music in the Camps. Join the members of Old Towne Brass for a 60-minute talk and demonstration about the music prevalent in 1861 Virginia.  This program will offer a combination of audience participation, explanations about the importance of certain types of music, and performance.

2 p.m.: Children’s Muster. All children, along with their families, are invited to experience the process of becoming Civil War soldiers.  Children will participate in the mustering-in process and “become” newly enlisted soldiers.

2:30 p.m.: Join the Artillery!  Camp of Instruction. Please join park staff for an experiential program designed to replicate the training process for members of a gun crew.  This 60-minute event will allow you to engage in the drill practiced by artillery soldiers as they learned the steps to operating an artillery piece.  There will be a firing demonstration at the beginning and conclusion of the camp of instruction.

3:30 p.m.: Join the Infantry!  Camp of Instruction. Experience the transformation from civilian to soldier life.  This 60-minute program will feature participation in the drill and training process that a new recruit would experience.  A drill and firing demonstration conducted by living history volunteers will conclude the camp of instruction.

4:30 p.m.: In Chatham’s Shadow: J. Horace Lacy’s Slaves. Join NPS historian John Hennessy for a 30-minute tour/talk focused on the status of Lacy’s slaves in terms of their immediate pre-war lives and the transitions they were enduring.

6 p.m.: An Evening at Chatham I:  Family, Nation, and War. Join Purdue University Professor Caroline Janney for a 50-minute presentation on Virginia’s transition to war.  Dr. Janney’s remarks will focus on Virginia in 1861 and the state’s motivation to join the Confederate forces, as well as developments on the homefront.

7 p.m.: An Evening at Chatham II:  J. Horace Lacy Goes to War. Chatham’s wartime owner J. Horace Lacy will join us on the front lawn of Chatham for a 20-minute dramatic presentation. This portrayal of Lacy will focus on his thoughts and emotions regarding going off to war and leaving Chatham.

7:30 p.m.: An Evening at Chatham III:  Music that Mobilized. The Olde Towne Brass will present a Civil War-era concert performed on authentic period instruments. This 90-minute concert will feature the same musical performances held in 1861 Virginia.  Please bring a lawn chair for your comfort during the program.

SUNDAY, JUNE 12

10 a.m.: The Ladies Arise: Women Go to War. Join NPS historian Beth Parnicza for a talk focused on women’s experiences in 1861.  The focus of the talk will be on expectations of what would soon become known as “the homefront,” as well as reflections about the role of women in the Civil War.

10:30 a.m.: Slaves and the Beginning of the War. Join NPS historian John Hennessy for a talk focused on slaves and the Civil War—their perceptions, hopes, and their quest for freedom. This presentation will focus on local sources as well as reflect on the broader slave experience throughout 1861 Virginia.

11 a.m.: Impressions of the Enemy. Join NPS historian Frank O’Reilly for a presentation focused on how Virginians viewed the North in 1861. This program will look at how local newspapers and periodicals attempted to shape popular opinion among Fredericksburg residents and Virginia as a whole.

11:30 a.m.: Children’s Muster. All children, along with their families, are invited to experience the process of becoming Civil War soldiers.  Children will participate in the mustering in process and “become” newly enlisted soldiers.

Noon: Join the Artillery!  Camp of Instruction. Join park staff for an experiential program designed to replicate the training process for members of a gun crew.  This 60-minute program will allow you to engage in the drill practiced by new gunners as they learned the steps of operating an artillery piece.  There will be a firing demonstration at the beginning and conclusion of the camp of instruction.

1 p.m.: Join the Infantry!  Camp of Instruction. All are invited to experience the transformation from civilian to soldier life.  This 60-minute program will feature participation in the drill and training process that a new recruit would experience. A drill and firing demonstration conducted by living history volunteers will conclude the camp of instruction.

2 p.m.: The Local Boys Depart. Join NPS historian Jake Struhelka for a talk on the men from the Fredericksburg region who went to war—men of the 9th, 30th, and 47th Virginia regiments and the Fredericksburg Artillery, as they transformed from civilians into soldiers.

2:30 p.m.: Join the Artillery! Camp of Instruction. Please join park staff for an experiential program designed to replicate the training process for members of a gun crew.  This 60-minute program will allow you to engage in the drill practiced by new gunners as they learned the steps of operating an artillery piece.  There will be a firing demonstration at the beginning and conclusion of the camp of instruction.

3:30 p.m.: Join the Infantry! Camp of Instruction. All are invited to experience the transformation from civilian to soldier life.  This 60-minute program will feature participation in the drill and training process that a new recruit would experience.  A drill and firing demonstration conducted by living history volunteers will conclude the camp of instruction.

4:30 p.m.: Bugs Not Bullets: Soldiers Face Their First Foe, Camp Disease. Join NPS historian John Hennessy for a presentation on the “real enemy” among new soldiers: camp disease.  This presentation will focus on the dangers that men faced before they encountered danger on the field of battle as well as the challenges faced in establishing military camps in 1861 Virginia.

For updates, visit the park’s website, www.nps.gov/frsp/special.htm, Facebook, www.facebook.com/FredericksburgSpotsylvaniaNMP, or call 540/373-6122.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/pastisprologue/2011/06/08/cw150-weekend-at-chatham-june-11-12/

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