Aug. 9 marks the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Mountain, the bloodiest battle to date in Culpeper County. To commemorate it, the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield is hosting the annual Living History Weekend event on August 11 and 12.
The Battle of Cedar Mountain had a very significant impact on Culpeper history, according to Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield president Diane Logan.
“The battle was one of the earlier battles during the war,” said Logan. “It was during this time that the civilians actually realized that war was on their doorsteps. There were a lot of civilian casualties here. Homes were destroyed in this area around the battlefield, and there are a lot of civilian stories related to this battle.”
This year is the sixth year the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield will host the Living History event.
According to Logan, part of what makes the event so successful is the living historians that work the event.
“We make sure that we have the best quality living historians we could possibly find, and I’m very glad to say that we do,” said Logan. “These people are very much involved in not only knowing the proper equipment to bring and the uniforms that would have been worn, but they study the battle itself, and they know the events that happened on this field. They will be portraying units that were actually here.”
The Cedar Mountain Battlefield, along with the Brandy Station Battlefield, is being considered as an addition to the Virginia State Park system.
“We do hope that Cedar Mountain Battlefield and Brandy Station Battlefield will become part of the Virginia State Park system,” Logan said. “We continue working with our state legislature, and we have lots of support on the state level and certainly with the community around Culpeper. This will not only impact Culpeper but Madison and Orange. Civil War Trust continues to work with the state and we hope that it will come to fruition in the next year or two.”
The event will take place at the battlefield along long James Madison Highway/Route 15 south of Culpeper at 9465 General Winder Road. Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and parking is available.
“[The battle] is part of Culpeper’s history, and Culpeper’s history is what makes it so unique,” Logan said. “This had a huge impact of the civilians of that day and knowing your history I think instills pride in the community whether you are born and raised in Culpeper or, like me, you’ve moved here from another state.”