Past is Prologue

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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Ulysses S. Grant collection on exhibit at Ellwood

On Saturday, Spotsylvania resident Jackson Foster will display and discuss his collection of Gen. U.S. Grant memorabilia at Ellwood Manor, the visitor contact station on the Wilderness battlefield in Orange County.

His presentation, which is free to the public, begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Ellwood will close for the season at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The nonprofit volunteer group that operates the historic site, Friend of Wilderness Battlefield, says that Foster has been collecting period photographs of Grant and other Grant collectibles since 1979. He found his first photo of Lt. Gen. Grant while at a photography show in Chicago.

Jackson and his family moved to the Fredericksburg area in 2005, fulfilling a longtime dream of living near Civil War history and the Blue Ridge, and escaping the Midwest’s brutal winters.

Jackson’s business, The I.D. Entity, specializes in identity design, branding and visual communications. He has worked with the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, the National Park System and Smithsonian Folkways, designing communication projects related to the Civil War.

His Grant exhibit will be showed on Ellwood’s newly restored second floor. The circa-1790 home was the center of a large, and served as a field hospital for both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. It was headquarters for Union Gen. Gouverneur  K. Warren during the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864.

Visitors will have a final opportunity to visit the house on Dec. 17th for the annual “Christmas at Ellwood” program. For more information about special programs at the site,  visit

There is no admission charge to visit, though donations are always welcome.