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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History Calendar, Week of July 15-21, 2012

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

MORE: Read more Stafford County news

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 offered by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Kids can learn about soldier life, design a regimental flag, and become members of the Signal Corps. Free. 1013 Lafayette Blvd. No reservations required, but space is limited. Questions? Wish to bring a large group? Please call 540/373-6122.

Dr. Kate Waller Barrett and her children. (THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

Honoring Kate Waller Barrett. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Join the Stafford County Historical Society as it pays tribute to one of Stafford’s own, Dr. Kate Waller Barrett, as the Virginia Department of Historic Resources prepares a state historical marker about her for autumn placement in Widewater. Dr. Barrett was a prominent Virginia physician, humanitarian, philanthropist, sociologist and social reformer. Her contributions were so great that when she died in 1925, the flag over the Virginia Capitol in Richmond was flown at half-staff; she was the first woman in the commonwealth’s history to be so honored. Lee Woolf, retired Free Lance-Star editor and writer, give an illustrated talk on Barrett’s incredible life. Mitchell Austin, son of the principal of Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School in Stafford, will begin the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. Refreshments, including some Barrett family favorites, will be served after Woolf’s lecture. In the Board of Supervisors chambers, Stafford Administration Building, 1300 Courthouse Road.

Historian-Led Tour of Cedar Mountain Battlefield in Culpeper County. 7 p.m. Friday July 20. As part of the National Park Service’s summertime “History at Sunset” program, NPS historians Greg Mertz and Ray Brown will give a special presentation, “Stunned at Cedar Mountain,” on the Aug. 9, 1862, battlefield where Confederate commander Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson wielded his saber to rally his men in desperate, hand-to-hand fighting. This year’s “Sunset” Friday-night 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. At camp’s end, students’ art will be displayed. Call 540/371-3037, email education@famcc .org, visit

The town of Culpeper, sketched during the Civil War. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

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. Morning snacks and 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 the county, site of its largest slave-holding plantation, a celebrated refugee river crossing and sites reflecting former slaves’ return to region as members of the 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 for visitors on Ellwood’s restored second floor; he has been re-enacting in this venue since he met Dr. T. Adrian Wheat well over a decade ago. Dr. Wheat will accompany Pelletier. A historian of Civil War medicine for more than 40 years, he is one of the founders of Chimborazo Hospital Museum in Richmond and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Md. Pelletier, who has presented at national conventions of the Civil War Trust and the Society of Civil War Surgeons, 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. Friday, July 25. Get behind-the-scenes tours of the Catherine W. Jones McKann Center and historic Town Hall/Market House collection, led by Education and Volunteer Coordinator Janelle Kennedy. Volunteers will share their insights and experiences into the museum’s opportunities. Free; no pre-registration required. Questions? Contact Ms. Kennedy at 540/371-3037, ext. 142, or Volunteers serve as Museum Store staff, front-line assistants, gallery assistants, tour leaders, special event staff, education assistants and researchers, and in graphic design, photography, administrative duties and more. The 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 the Caroline County estate where Jackson spent his last winter. Part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park’s “History at Sunset” series, now in its 11th year exploring lesser-known aspects of the Civil War. Free. See or call 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 the Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station. $10 adult, children under 12 free. First tour in series covers early 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, from noon to 4 p.m.. Washington area beach glass artist Courtney Gillen will feature her one-of-a-kind necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets. She uses beach glass from Hawaii, freshwater pearls, and recycled sterling silver using traditional metalsmithing techniques. 215 William Street. Contact store manager Ellen Smith Fortunato, 540/371-3037, ext. 126, or

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

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


The Battle of Cedar Mountain, by Currier & Ives.

BATTLE OF CEDAR MOUNTAIN 150TH ANNIVERSARY WEEKENDS. Aug. 3–5 and Aug. 9–12. See first weekend’s schedule, below.

World Premiere 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 the book’s coming to life on stage, with music, wine and food. $95 includes reception, admission to the play’s premiere performance, with priority seating and an 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 Premiere 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 the door: adults, $20; under age 18, $10. Tickets are 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, Culpeper; Stellar One in Lake of the Woods; and the Museum of Culpeper History. Get them online at or

Walking tour of historic 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 the depot Visitor Center, 111 Commerce St. $10, adults; $5, under age 18. Reservations recommended. Write or call 540/825-9147. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. Visit

Civil War encampment at Salubria. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. This rare Georgian manor house was built in 1757. Visit re-enactors’ camp; 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. Plan to spend afternoon at the historic and scenic inn. 16589 Edwards Shop Road, Remington. Start with a barbecue buffet. Afterward, the esteemed scholar and retired Virginia Tech history professor will speak on the 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 demonstration, artillery demonstration and hayride tours of Kelly’s Ford, the most heavily used ford of the Civil War. Sale of silent-auction items 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. Second multimedia performance of of this story of love across the battle lines, based on the popular historical novel of the same name. Eastern View High School, 16332 Cyclone Way, Culpeper. See above for ticket prices.

“Marching Through Culpeper.” 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. Third multimedia performance.

“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. Lasts 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. Open 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. A day full of games, historical demonstrations, trivia, register-to-win opportunities, music, crafts, children’s activities, behind-the-scenes tours, a giant book sale, and more. Admission to the museum complex and all activities is free. 428 North Boulevard, Richmond. 804/358-4901;

Jr. Ambassador Passport Travels. VHS, Richmond. July 23–27. A day camp where children, ages 7–10, explore the culture, food, geography and music from the countries where Virginia native Alexander Weddell served as a diplomat. Each day focuses on a different country, giving children the opportunity to compare and contrast customs and traditions from each 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, 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. “The Queen and the USA” was published during the jubilee to celebrate the special bonds—the rule of law, representative government, and economic freedom—between the United Kingdom and the United States. Queen Elizabeth II has made three state visits to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Live After 5” evening performances, Colonial Williamsburg. Through Aug. 25, except Sundays. After the sun goes down in Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City, guests get a complimentary taste of tour and program options in Virginia’s 18th-century capital, 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 where children, ages 9–11, explore the natural history and uniqueness of a 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. At 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.