Battle of Cedar Mountain Living History and Commemoration Aug. 7-8

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB) will host a living history and commemoration of the Civil War Battle of Cedar Mountain on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8.

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB) will host a living history and commemoration of the Civil War Battle of Cedar Mountain on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8.

Visitors of all ages are welcome to enjoy a variety of activities that will bring to life the experiences of soldiers and civilians impacted by the battle.

The Battle of Cedar Mountain took place in Culpeper County on Aug. 9, 1862. Confederate troops led by Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson prevailed over Federal troops led by Gen. Nathaniel Banks at a cost of 3,800 men killed or wounded. 

“Education is an important part of our mission and we are excited to offer a variety of learning opportunities and expanded kids’ activities this year,” FCMB President Diane Logan said. “We are grateful to the American Battlefield Trust and our volunteers who help make this happen.”

Programs and activities open to the public will take place from 9 a.m.- 5p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8. 

Event highlights

A combined arms demonstration of Civil War weaponry and school of the soldier. The school of the soldier offers the opportunity to participate in basic drill and instruction; work with the infantry and learn how to handle a musket; learn how to march, drill and fight; and even serve on a gun crew.

Military encampments representing Union and Confederate forces will be open for visitors to learn about the life of a soldier. 

In the kids’ activity tent, a History Trunk provided by the American Battlefield Trust will offer a hands-on learning experience featuring soldiers’ uniforms, equipment, personal items and favored pastimes such as playing cards and games. Living historians will be on hand to share the wartime stories of soldiers and civilians. Artifacts to explore include shell fragments, bullets and old maps and photographs of Cedar Mountain.

Photographer Robert Szabo, nationally recognized for his expertise with 19th century wet plate collodion photography, will demonstrate how to prepare glass plates for use in his old-style camera and develop glass plate negatives on site. During the Civil War, Culpeper County was one of the conflict’s most photographed settings. 

Author Ben Myers will present the wartime experience of the 46th Pennsylvania Infantry — shattered at Cedar Mountain with 30 killed, 34 badly wounded and six captured. Myers is the author of American Citizen, which documents the Civil War experience of George Brooks, a captain in the 46th PA during the Battle of Cedar Mountain. (Myers has a family connection to the 46th PA: his great-great-great-grandfather served in Company D under Captain Brooks).

At the Cedar Mountain signal station, visitors will see a demonstration of signal flags and learn how messages were coded, sent and decoded.

On Sunday, Aug. 8, a Memorial Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. recognizes the fallen at Cedar Mountain whose names have been submitted to the FCMB Ancestors Roll by their descendants.

A schedule for the event is available at https://friendsofcedarmountain.org/annual-event/

Logan added, “We welcome volunteers to help FCMB continue building on current projects and to develop new programs,” Logan said. “There are opportunities to fit varied interests from gardening to house maintenance, battlefield tour guiding, supporting kids’ programs, and helping organize a library and research center.”

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield is a community-based nonprofit corporation dedicated to working cooperatively with landowners and local citizens to protect, restore, maintain, manage, interpret, and promote public awareness of the Cedar Mountain Civil War Battlefield and vicinity in Culpeper County.

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