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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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NPS sets major programs May 3, May 10 in Spotsylvania for Overland Campaign’s 150th anniversary

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

With only four two days remaining until we kick off our commemorative programs for the 150th anniversary of the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, the National Park Service is excited to share more details about two of our key programs during the commemoration:

Soldiers, re-enactors and citizens march in Civil War soldiers' footsteps during the Battle of Fredericksburg's 150th anniversary.

Soldiers, re-enactors and citizens march in Civil War soldiers’ footsteps during the Battle of Fredericksburg’s 150th anniversary.

Commemorative Programs Feature Notable Speakers, Words of Soldiers and Families for Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House 150th Anniversary

Fredericksburg, VA — The National Park Service is pleased to announce new details about the Opening Ceremony and the Culminating Event of the upcoming 150th anniversary of the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House.  

These programs will recall the struggles of soldiers confronting a war increasing in intensity and families coping with war on their doorsteps.

On Saturday, May 3, join keynote speaker Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. and National Park Service Northeast Regional Director Mike Caldwell  for an Opening Ceremony to mark the formal beginning of the commemoration of the deadly 1864 Overland Campaign.

April 30 UPDATE: Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis had to cancel his participation on Saturday “due to a scheduling conflict,” a spokesman said.

The 10-11:15 a.m. Opening Ceremony will be held at the Bloody Angle (Tour Stop 3) on the Spotsylvania Battlefield, the site of 22 hours of hand-to-hand combat.

The following Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m., join with descendants, members of the community, and visitors from across the nation on the McCoull farm.

A foggy morning on the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. BUDDY SECOR

A foggy morning on the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. BUDDY SECOR

Using music, the power of place, the words of those who were there, and the simulated sound of 20,000 men in battle, we will recall and commemorate the immense struggle and sacrifice of those who lived, fought, and died upon the battlefield at Spotsylvania Court House.

Gather at the entrance lane to the McCoull House (Tour Stop 5), and we will move as a procession to the Bloody Angle. Bring a lawn chair and a flashlight.

These programs are part of a larger commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House.

For more information on the many programs planned by the National Park Service at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and to find the full schedule of events, check our website at: www.nps.gov/frsp/sesquicentennial.htm

Hard copies of our free, 150th-anniversary program booklet are now available at the park’s Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Centers and at our historic sites, Chatham Manor and the “Stonewall” Jackson Shrine.

–Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park 

Blogger’s note: The park’s color, 16-page booklet, “A Nation Remembers: The 1864 Overland Campaign – Wilderness & Spotsylvania,” provides a guide to sesquicentennial events–including 33 ranger-guided walks, “real-time” tours, bus tours and talks–from May 3 through May 26, 2014.

And here’s a free PDF of the Visitor’s Guide to the 150th Anniversary of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse, May 1-4, 2014, at Spotsylvania Courthouse Village, Spotsylvania, VA:

http://cdn.freelancestar.com/files/2014/04/civil-war.pdf

 

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