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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Richmond NBP to Commemorate 150th Anniversary of Battle of Seven Pines

Richmond, Virginia's famed Monument Avenue includes this equestrian statute of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

This just came in over the transom:

Battle resulted in the appointment of Robert E. Lee as Confederate commander

RICHMOND, Va. – To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Seven

Pines, the event that led to the appointment of Robert E. Lee as commander

of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, Richmond National Battlefield

Park will offer programs in partnership with Henrico County on Thursday,

May 31 – the anniversary of the battle – and on Saturday, June 2, and

Sunday June 3.

Presentations by National Park Service Ranger Bert Dunkerly and NPS alumnus

Mike Andrus at Henrico County’s Sandston Library on Thursday, May 31 and

Saturday, June 2 will give provide an overview of the battle and explain

what it meant for the course of the war and our nation.  The presentations

take place on Thursday at 12:15 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at

11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A ranger-led bus tour of the battlefield area on Saturday at noon will

visit the places where the fighting occurred.  The tour will meet at

Sandston Library.  The cost of the tour is $25 and advance registration is

encouraged, as seating is limited; to make a reservation, call


On Sunday, June 3, a unique program with NPS Ranger Mike Gorman will use

Civil War-era photography to explore the Battle of Seven Pines and the

larger Peninsula Campaign.  Taking place in the Henrico Theater at 4 p.m.,

the presentation will look at the battle and the war through the

photographer’s lens, using a variety of period photographs of sites

throughout the Richmond area – including places that exist today – and the

remarkable faces of the people who lived and fought here.

About the Battle of Seven Pines

On June 1, 1862, after a string of Confederate losses across the South,

President Jefferson Davis found himself without a commander to defend

Richmond from the massive Union army sitting on its outskirts.  Gen. Joseph

Johnston had been wounded the day before in a battle at Seven Pines, near

the modern-day Richmond International Airport.  With more than 100,000

Federal troops sitting a few miles away, Davis asked his military advisor,

Robert E. Lee, to lead the Army of Northern Virginia.  One month later,

after a series of battles that drove the Union army from the gates of

Richmond, Lee was poised to take the offensive, and Northern leaders began

to consider emancipation as a war aim.

Battle of Seven Pines Special Events at Richmond National Battlefield Park:

Thursday, May 31 – 12:15 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 2 – 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

“The Battle of Seven Pines (or Fair Oaks): Lee Assumes Command of the Army

of Northern Virginia”

Public presentations with NPS Alumnus Mike Andrus and NPS Ranger Bert

Dunkerly at Sandston Library (23 E. Williamsburg Road, Sandston,

23150).  Free of charge.

Saturday, June 2 – 12:00 p.m.

Bus Tour of the Seven Pines Battlefield

Join National Park Service staff for a tour of the Seven Pines

battlefield.  Tour departs from Sandston Library (23 E. Williamsburg

Road, Sandston, 23150) following an 11:00 a.m. presentation about the

battle.  $25 fee.  Seating is limited, so advance registration is

encouraged; call 804-771-2035.

Sunday, June 3, 4:00 p.m.:

“Seven Pines and the Peninsula Campaign – Photography Begins to Tell the

Tale of the Civil War”

Program with NPS Ranger Mike Gorman looking at the Peninsula Campaign

and Seven Pines through the photographer’s lens (free).  Henrico

Theater, 305 E Nine Mile Road, Henrico, 23075.

For more information about Richmond’s Sesquicentennial events this spring

and summer, visit


Richmond National Battlefield Park protects 13 Civil War sites in Hanover,

Henrico, and Chesterfield counties.  Experiencing the park’s battlefield

sites and five visitor centers usually takes a full day.  The main park

visitor center is located at Historic Tredegar (470 Tredegar Street in

Richmond) and provides museum exhibits, audio-visual programs, and

orientation services to help plan a visit to the battlefields.

For additional information, please contact the park at 804-226-1981.   Park

information and updates about programs and events are also available on the

park’s website at and on Facebook