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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150th Anniversary Chancellorsville Re-enactment in Final Stage

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Spotsylvania County officials and re-enactors have been meeting to do the final logistical and other planning necessary for the 150th Sesquicentennial Anniversary Commemoration and Reenactment of the Battle of Chancellorsville, to be held on May 3-5, 2013, at Spotsylvania Courthouse Village, just off State Route 208 (Courthouse Bypass) and Brock Road in Spotsylvania.

Re-enactors are coming to Spotsylvania from around the country and from overseas, to commemorate and, in some small way, to re-create the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of the men of 1863.

Each re-enactor and living historian expects to accurately portray the uniforms, camps and the troop movements experienced at Chancellorsville. This effort will lift history out of dusty books and maps and move it beyond granite monuments, allowing residents and visitors to Spotsylvania County to gain a realistic sense of what happened right here–150 years ago.

Chancellorsville is known as General Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory, wherein Confederate forces defeated a Federal Army more than twice the size of his own.

It is also one of the most important moments in the county’s national heritage as it set the stage for everything that was to follow – including Lee’s decision to invade Pennsylvania and do battle at a place called Gettysburg. Because of events surrounding Chancellorsville, the famous Stonewall Jackson, known as “Lee’s right arm,” would not be at Gettysburg.

This reenactment is being led by some of the most gifted and senior field commanders recognized throughout the reenactment community Nationwide, along with some of reenacting’s largest and most prominent reenacting units.

Organizations like the United States Volunteers, the National Regiment, First Federal Division, Mifflin Guard, Vincent’s Brigade, First Federal Volunteers, the First Division Army of Northern Virginia, the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, and Longstreet’s Corps will take part.

The commemoration is being planned as a major family experience, with a craft fair, living history exhibits, reenactments and more. Tickets are NOW available at:

–Kathy Smith, Spotsylvania County public information officer