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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Missing Details for Weekend’s Fredericksburg 150th

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

Due to space reasons, this information about this weekend’s Battle of Fredericksburg sesquicentennial wasn’t included in the Civil War 150 calendar in Thursday’s Weekender section in the print edition of The Free Lance-Star.

Please accept my sincerest apologies.

First, click here for parking and shuttle information and maps.


All day: Virginia HistoryMobile at Chatham Manor; pontoon boats, bridge crossing, street fighting in “Fire on the Rappahannock” at 10 a.m. at City Dock and Battle of Marye’s Heights at 3 p.m. at UMW’s Trench Hill; National Park Service tours; music, living history at Chatham; re-enactors’ camps, living history at Ferry Farm and Slaughter Pen Farm.

HFFI Christmas Candlelight Tour, 11a.m.–5p.m.: Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc. hosts 42nd annual tour today and Sunday in a neighborhood that was an attack route for Union troops. (Same-day tickets are $30; one-house tickets $10.) Featured homes include: 704 Sunken Road (Brompton); 123 Lee Drive (Braehead); 700 and 701 Hanover St., and 919 Hanover (James Wilkins house). See

NPS programs:

All-day: Living history at Chatham: medicine, civilians, music and headquarters. Hourly tours of the Sunken Road and Marye’s Heights. Children’s muster, Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center.

8–9:30 a.m.: “Fire in the Streets.” Union and Confederate soldiers battled house by house, block by block, in the first street fighting on American soil. Meet at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St.

10 a.m.–noon: “Protecting Jackson’s Left.” A Union breakthrough threatened to unhinge Jackson’s line south of town and became the decisive moment in the Battle of Fredericksburg. Meet at the Bernard’s Cabin trailhead, South Lee Drive.

1–2:30 p.m.: “Across the Bloody Plain.” Follow in the footsteps of Union soldiers who attacked the Confederates along the Sunken Road. Meet at Hurkamp Park, at the corner of George Street and Prince Edward Street.

4–5 p.m.: “The Dreaded Heights.” NPS historians will staff Sunken Road and Marye’s Heights. Begin at corner of Hanover Street and Sunken Road.

7 p.m.: “Ordeal of the Town.” NPS historian John Hennessy will use letters and diaries to explore the experience of civilians during the battle. In the sanctuary of St. George’s Episcopal Church, 901 Princess Anne St.

“Fire on the Rappahannock” re-enactments:

8 a.m.–5 p.m.: Ferry Farm, 286 Kings Highway, Fredericksburg 22405 (programs cost $1 for age 6 and up). Union camps, Civil War hot air balloon, field hospital, black women’s history, pontoon boats, cooking, laundry and quilting. Enjoy taking tea with the ladies of the 5th Regiment in the Gallery at Ferry Farm from 4–5 p.m. (Shuttle available.)

8 a.m.–5 p.m.: Slaughter Pen Farm, Confederate camps, artillery and infantry demonstrations, Civil War games and field hospital. Free.

Meet the Generals: Uou have two opportunities to meet the Union and Confederate generals. 9–11 a.m., camps at Ferry Farm and Slaughter Pen; 1–2 p.m. at Riverfront Park.

10 a.m.–noon: Ferry Farm, “What They Wore” demonstration. Learn about 1860s women’s fashion, hairstyles.

10 a.m.–2 p.m.: Field hospital—Brompton on Marye’s Heights above Sunken Road. Learn about Civil War medicine and see an amputation with surgeon John Ocheltree of the 5th Virginia.

10 a.m.–10:20 a.m.: Union assault begins. Hear the cannons roar as the Union artillery opens fire on the city. Re-enacted at Ferry Farm.

10:20 a.m.–11 a.m.: Pontoon crossing, Ferry Farm to City Dock. Experience the first amphibious assault, under fire, in U.S. history. Best seen from the heights at Ferry Farm and the parking lot at City Dock.

11–11:30 a.m.: Street battle along Sophia Street. Union battalions will advance into the city, meeting resistance from Confederate forces. The street battle can be viewed from Riverfront Park, 600 Sophia St.

11 a.m.–1 p.m.: Rising Sun Tavern, 1304 Caroline St., civilian middle-class family portrayal and field hospital; Kenmore Inn, 1200 Princess Anne St., period tavern; Mary Washington House, 1200 Charles St., lower-class family portrayal and looting scenario; Kenmore, 1201 Washington Ave., upper-class family portrayal, cooking demo and field hospital.

11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Civil War Art Show, selected pieces from the Silver Family Collection. Several artists will be on hand for the show.

Noon–1 p.m.: Ferry Farm: The Black Women Experience in the War, by Dr. Cynthia Crater, in the Gallery.

1–2 p.m.: Slaughter Pen Farm, artillery demonstrations by the 4th Maryland Artillery.

1–3 p.m.: Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Second Saturday kids program, Market Square, 1001 Princess Anne St. Hands-on program with Civil War re-enactors.

1–4 p.m.: Ferry Farm, gallery quilting demonstrations.

2–3 p.m.: Military formation and inspections. Confederate troops: Trench Hill, 1119 Hanover St. Union troops: Federal Hill, 504 Hanover St.

3–4 p.m.: Battle of Marye’s Heights. Come see the Union assault against the Confederate forces behind the stone wall along Sunken Road. Re-enactment to take place on Trench Hill behind UMW Jepson Alumni Center at 1119 Hanover St. Viewing areas will be at Hanover Street and Sunken Road and parking lot at Marye Street and Sunken Road.


All-day: Virginia Civil War HistoryMobile; living history at Chatham, medicine, civilians, music and headquarters. Hourly tours of Sunken Road and Marye’s Heights, until 2 p.m. Batte-damaged Innis House open along Sunken Road. Children’s muster, Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center.

HFFI Christmas Candlelight Tour, 11a.m.–5p.m.: Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc. hosts 42nd annual tour along Union troops’ attack route; Brompton and Braehead figured in the battle. Same-day tickets are $30; one-house tickets $10.

Various programs:

9–11 a.m.: “Breakthrough at Prospect Hill National Park Service walking tour. Here, armies battled for key terrain on south end of the field. Big Union attack took Ambrose Burnside to brink of victory, prevented only by intense fighting. Meet at Prospect Hill (Tour Stop 6) on South Lee Drive.

10–11 a.m.: Period church services. Join re-enactors for worship at Slaughter Pen Farm.

11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Ferry Farm ($1 ages 6 and up), living history programs, laundry, quilting, horses and saddles.

12 p.m.: Re-dedication of Irish Brigade monument, City Dock. Irish Defence Forces soldiers, historian Frank O’Reilly, Sons of Union Veterans officer, Irish Embassy representative, Fredericksburg Councilman Matt Kelly will honor Irish immigrants who in the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Noon–3 p.m.: Field hospital at Brompton, on Marye’s Heights above Sunken Road.

Culminating Event: A Nation Remembers Fredericksburg

1–4 p.m.: Public, soldiers and re-enactors participate in National Park Service’s Hallowed Ground Processional and Culminating Ceremony. Irish Defence Forces troops and 69th New York Infantry (Irish Brigade legacy unit) will march. Starts at 1 p.m., Riverfront Park, Sophia Street.

1 p.m.: Crossing Hallowed Ground—A Procession. Walk in the footsteps of soldiers through town—enveloped by sound, accompanied by the words of those who were there, and witness to the names of those who fell. The simulated explosion of 100 shells per minute will symbolize the ordeal of the town. Tolling bells will reflect the grief of a nation. Drums will speak to the sacrifice of soldiers. Each participant may carry a flower to the Sunken Road. From Riverfront Park, Sophia Street, to the Sunken Road.

3 p.m.: The Culmination: Sunken Road. A program of music, words, reflection, and salutes, including descendant units of both Virginia’s Stonewall Brigade and the Union’s Irish Brigade. Participants will lay flowers upon the stone wall in remembrance of the fallen. At the Sunken Road, behind Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Lafayette Blvd.