News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Civil War 150th: Stratford Hall presents ‘Songs and Remembrances’ program
BY CLINT SCHEMMER
No doubt, there’s never been a Civil War program like the one this Saturday at Stratford Hall.
The stately Westmoreland County seat of the Lee family welcomes all for a full plate of period music, martial life, family research tips and a special archival effort by the Library of Virginia.
“Songs and Remembrances” offers something for people of all ages, and at a bargain of a price. Tours of the Great House are included in admission. (The event is free to Friends of Stratford.)
The talented Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg, which gave a popular, moving performance at Fredericksburg Baptist Church as the war’s sesquicentennial began, will offer encore 20-minute programs at 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m. in the Preservation Gallery.
Re-enactors with the 53rd Virginia and the Richmond Howitzers will perform infantry drills and artillery demonstrations throughout the day. At 2 p.m., children are invited to drill on the South Lawn of Robert E. Lee’s birthplace, with giveaways to some of the volunteers.
Organized by George Wyeth Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s grandson, the elite Richmond Howitzers served with distinction from the Battle of First Manassas all the way to Appomattox.
The other group, the Mattaponi Guards (Company H, 53rd Virginia), also saw action throughout the war. In its most famous engagement, Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, its men—with other members of Armistead’s Brigade—breached the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.
In the Lee estate’s duPont Hall, Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project staff will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to scan period documents and photos.
With participation from communities across the commonwealth, this effort of the Library of Virginia and the state’s sesquicentennial commission is preserving digital copies of material found in family albums and attics that could otherwise be lost to posterity.
Project donors will have free admission to the event. Appointments are encouraged. A limited number of walk-ins will be accommodated, as scheduling allows.
Two veteran genealogists, local residents Laura Hazel and Marie Vayer, will give advice on researching your Civil War ancestor.
The Steamboat Era Museum of Irvington will display a diorama on the naval action at Port Royal in December 1862 that halted Union gunboats moving up the Rappahannock River.
WANT TO GO?
When: 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Stratford Hall, 483 Great House Road
Cost: $10 adults, $5 children, free for under 5
Info: 804/493-8038; stratfordhall.org