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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July 21: Culpeper Civil War Symposium now FREE!

This press release just came in over the transom this morning:

The town of Culpeper in the Civil War, as seen by a wet-plate collodion photographer. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)

Thanks to a personal dedication to history and the enormous generosity of an anonymous donor, the symposium (morning session) scheduled as part of a day- long series of events on July 21 will now be offered free to the general public.
The benefactor approached the organizers with an offer to underwrite the cost of the symposium portion with the caveat that it would then be open free of charge to students, teachers, and all interested participants. The organizers enthusiastically and gratefully accepted.
The series of events scheduled for July 21 are the first programs sponsored by the newly founded African American Heritage Alliance (AAHA). “This is a dream come true for us,” said co founder Howard Lambert. “We are first and foremost about sharing the history. Hopefully, this generous offer will enable many more folks to join us.”
Along with the support of other history-related groups in the area, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield chose to join forces with AAHA as the official co-sponsor.
A wealth of information about the American Civil War has yet to be well told including the civilian dilemmas and the common soldier’s stories. However, the greatest void in historical recordation has been the journey of the American slave from bondage to freedom; a tale fraught with danger, enhanced with courage and perseverance, and galvanized by the promise of freedom and independence.
Organizers of the three -part event have designed a day that will fully engage the participants in the complexities of military strategy, political debate and the impact of such decisions on a small rural community and its citizens both white and black.
Attending the July 21 events will prepare the participant with a greater understanding of the horrific August 9, 1862 battle at Cedar Mountain, in Culpeper County. Friends of Cedar Mountain (FoCM), supported by AAHA, will host a series of events in August to continue the story.

For more info about the FoCM August events, visit or

For details or to register for the July 21 events: visit (follow the links for a printable registration form or to register online); or contact Zann Nelson at 540-547-2395

Want to Go?

SYMPOSIUM: “Anguish and Freedom: The Yankees Descend upon Culpeper:”
Saturday, July 21
8:30 AM -12:30 PM
The Daniel Center at Germanna Community College (GCC), Culpeper, VA
Fee: FREE  (includes beverages and light snacks)
Three presentations will address the topics relevant to the summer of 1862 including Lincoln’s policies, military shifts, General Pope’s arrival in Culpeper, the looming question of emancipation and slave refugees and ultimately the impact on Culpeper.
Moderator: Clark B. Hall
Daniel Sutherland, PhD, author of 13 books incl. Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community
John Hennessy, Chief Historian for the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Natl. Park
James Bryant, PhD, author and professor of history at Shenandoah University
Lunch: If you are attending the afternoon bus tour, you may bring your lunch or place an order ($10) Bus tour attendees will eat lunch at the Daniel Center prior to departure.
BUS TOUR: “The Rappahannock: A River to Freedom:”
Saturday, July 21,
1-5 PM
Tightly packed tour with light walking
Departs and returns to the Daniel Center at GCCCulpeper, VA
FEE:  $60 limited seating; water and snacks included
Clark “Bud” Hall, noted Civil War historian with an expertise in Culpeper County history will conduct a 1st of its kind tour examining the juxtaposition of slave plantations and Union encampments to the Rappahannock River and the subsequent self -emancipation efforts of Culpeper slaves. The tour expects to include several rarely seen stops: mountain top view of the county, the largest slave- holding plantation, a celebrated refugee river crossing, and sites reflecting the return of former slaves as members of the United States Colored Troops.
RECEPTION: “An evening with Dr. Dan Sutherland
6 PM – 8 PM
Location:  “Holly Hill,” Reva VA  ( Directions sent with confirmation)
Good food, Virginia wines, excellent company and beautiful venue.
Casual attire…..  FEE: $50