The Fredericksburg Anniversary Program is Now Available

Click to download the full booklet.  The file is about 5mb.

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Updated Schedule for 2012-2013, including Fredericksburg Anniversary

Ongoing: 

March 2012-May 2013.  We Can Never Go Back”—an exhibit at the Fredericksburg Area Museum

August 27-December 31:  Picturing the Civil War”—an exhibit at the Fredericksburg Area Museum. 

Events: 

September 21: A Fireside Chat: Looking at the Emancipation Proclamation.  Dodd Auditorium, The University of Mary Washington, 7 – 9 p.m.. A program of the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission. Event is free, but pre-registration is required.

September 10: Mysteries and Conundrums: Civilians at War.
Part of a fall speakers’ series at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, main branch, presented by the National Park Service. John Hennessy and Noel Harrison will look at the civilian landscape and experience in the Fredericksburg region, with an emphasis on the unusual and mysterious. Derived from the park’s popular blog, Mysteries and Conundrums.  Free.

September 22-23: Yankees in Falmouth: Under the Yoke.
A program of living history, tours, and music that will reveal the trials of the Union occupation of the summer of 1862. Includes a special bus tour of the Trail to Freedom. Moncure Conway House, Falmouth.

October 1: Mysteries and Conundrums: Killing Fields
Second in a fall speakers’ series at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, main branch, presented by the National Park Service. John Hennessy and Noel Harrison will look at the battlefield landscape in the Fredericksburg region, with an emphasis on the unusual and mysterious. Free.  Derived from the park’s popular blog, Mysteries and Conundrums

November 17: Years of Anguish: Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg Baptist Church, 1-5 p.m., featuring Frank O’Reilly, George Rable, and Susannah Ural. The fourth in this popular series will gather the premier scholars on Fredericksburg for a lively discussion of the battle and its legacy. Free.  Book signing to follow. 

November 19: Mysteries and Conundrums: Developing a Battlefield Park.
The third in a fall speakers’ series at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, main branch, presented by the National Park Service. Eric Mink will look at the evolution of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, with an emphasis on the curious and unseen. Free.

December 7-9: Milestone Event. The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg.
- December 7: Battle’s Eve. A presentation by National Park Service historian Frank O’Reilly in the historic Presbyterian Church on George Street. 7 p.m. Free
- December 8-9. A local re-enactment on Saturday will provide the backdrop for an intensive schedule of tours and special programs, culminating on Sunday, December 9, with a community procession through the streets, church bells tolling, the simulation of 100 shells a minute exploding over town, and a climactic commemorative event at the Sunken Road.
[Details to be released August 2012)

December 11-15: Fredericksburg 150: The Battle in Real Time.
Join the entire NPS staff for a series of walks in the town and on the field on the day at precisely the time of the events 150 years ago.
(Details released August 2012)

December 16: Christmas at Chatham.
Kevin Rawlings returns as a Civil War Santa, in what has become an annual tradition at Chatham.

2013

April: Years of Anguish: Presidents and their Generals.                                  The fifth installment of this popular speakers' forum.  [Details to come.]

May 3-5: Milestone Event. The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Chancellorsville
- A local re-enactment on Saturday will provide the backdrop for an intensive schedule of tours and special programs, many of them in real time at the precise “150th moment.” Highlights include a participatory re-staging of Jackson’s flank march (May 2), a sunset walk at the Jackson wounding site, special speakers, sunrise tours on May 3, children’s programs, and a culminating commemorative event on Saturday evening, May 4, at Fairview.

May 10: The Death of Stonewall Jackson. A day of special programs at the Jackson Shrine, exploring the life and death of Thomas Jonathan Jackson. Free.

September: “The Churches Remember: Stafford County”  [Details to come.]

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A busy April and May ahead….Years of Anguish and To Freedom

To Freedom's culminating program will be held in what is today a grassy area at what was the western terminus of the Canal Boat Bridge in 1862--over which hundreds (at least) of slaves passed to freedom. Image looking from Stafford into Fredericksburg. Courtesy Marc Storch.

From John Hennessy:  April and May coincide with the 150th Anniversary of the arrival of the Union army in Fredericksburg. Though mightily annoying to white residents, this was a peaceful occupation of the town that would last four months. Despite the lack of maneuver and battle action that are so often at the heart of Civil War narratives (and will be for us later this year and the next two), much happened during the occupation worth remembering.  Most important and dramatic: the flight to freedom of more than 10,000 slaves from surrounding counties.  This is one of the most concentrated exoduses to freedom of the war.

With that in mind, we will use our next two major 150th events to explore the Union occupation and, especially, the flight to freedom.

Up first, on April 21, from 1-5 at the Fredericksburg Baptist Church on Princess Anne Street:  Years of Anguish–Slavery and Freedom. This, the third of our  wildly popular Years of Anguish series, will feature David Blight of Yale (perhaps the most prominent scholar in the realm of freedom and emancipation) and Thavolia Glymph of Duke University.  As is our custom, we look at an issue from a national and local perspective.  Covering the local angle, I will present on the Union army and the phenomenon of freedom in the Fredericksburg area.  For more on Years of Anguish, click here

To Freedom:  On the weekend of May 5 and 6 we will present a major milestone event, To Freedom.  The program will include special tours, some historical drama, and the culminating programs on the evening of May 5, which we hope and think will be powerful.  The evening’s events will begin with the Carrying of Stones–a community procession from Riverfront Park next to Shiloh Old Site down Sophia Street to the field below city dock. We will carry with us about 300 stones, each symbolic of the burden of slavery, each with the name of one of the nearly 300 (out of 10,000) slaves who we know crossed the river that spring and summer. At its end, we will separate the name from the stone….and cast the stone aside… 

Then will follow the major commemorative event, Ten Thousand Lights to Freedom, featuring music, dramatic readings, a recitation of names, and 10,000 lights illuminating the north bank of the Rappahannock at Ferry Farm.  You can learn more about To Freedom here.

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Churches Remember–Fredericksburg, March 24, 2012

Update:  Churches Remember was a huge success, attracting about 1,500 people to the six churches involved. 

We are pleased to announce what we think wil be a unique Sesquicentennial Event, on March 24, 2012:  Churches Remember.  Here is the press release.   

The National Park Service and the historic churches of Fredericksburg announce “Churches Remember,” a special day-long event on March 24, 2012, that will give visitors access to downtown Fredericksburg’s Civil War-era churches, while each congregation tells its own story in its own way, using music, theater, images, dance, and talks.  Historian George Rable of the University of Alabama will give the keynote address for the day at St. George’s Episcopal Church, starting at 10:45am.  The day will culminate with a special program,” Voices from the Storm: City of Hospitals,” at Fredericksburg Baptist Church at 7pm.

 “Of all the Sesquicentennial programs going on across America this year, this one is, I believe unique,” said John Hennessy, chief historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP. “It gives visitors a chance to visit these historic places and engage in their varied stories.  Too, it’s a chance for the congregations to step forward and tell their own story each in their own way.”

In addition to its own story, each church will focus on a unique theme that helps tell the broader story of a community caught amidst war.  Visitors will move from church to church (all within easy walking distance of each other), progressing through the town throughout the day.  All programs will be within historic sanctuaries. The schedule is as follows:

 9:30am – 10:30am   Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site)—Sophia Street      “Slavery, Exodus, and Freedom” (featuring powerful music)

 10:45am – Noon      St George’s Episcopal Church–“Religion in the Civil War.”  Keynote address by George Rable, author of the book God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War.

 1:00pm – 1:45pm     Presbyterian Church of Frederick“Church and Community” (featuring theater and old time preaching) 

2:00pm – 2:45pm     Fredericksburg United Methodist Church–“A Church Divided” (including theater and music)

 3:00pm – 4:15pm     Shiloh Baptist Church (New Site) “A Service of Hope.” An interdenominational, service encouraging all people to seek a genuine spirit of racial reconciliation.

7:00pm                     Fredericksburg Baptist Church–“Voices in the Storm: A City of Hospitals.”   A program of dramatic readings, music, and images.

 All venues are within an easy walk of each other. However, because of the uphill grade between Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site) and St. George’s Episcopal Church, shuttle buses will be available for that one transition for those with limited mobility.

Following the program at St. George’s Episcopal Church, the church will provide box lunches for $10 in the church basement. The lunch time will also include a Book Fair featuring publications and histories of the participating churches as well as copies of God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War by George Rable.  

Keynote speaker Dr. Rable is the Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History at the University of Alabama and the author of six books on the Civil War.  He is one of the most accomplished of America’s Civil War historians.

 The evening program, Voices of from the Storm:  City of Hospitals, will use dramatic readings, narration, images, light and music to convey the story of Fredericksburg’s use as a vast Union hospital during the war.  The program is lead by the park’s chief historian, John Hennessy. 

 All programs are free.

 

 

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November 12, 2011: Gallagher and Carmichael at Years of Anguish II: A Nation Goes to War

Years of Anguish II: A Nation Goes to War, is set for Saturday November 12 at Dodd Auditorium on the University of Mary Washington Campus. The program will begin at 1 and conclude at 5, with a book signing and reception to follow.  The program is free. 

Following on our wildly successful inaugural entry of Years of Anguish, November’s program will again look at the war through a national, state, and local lens. The

Dr. Gary Gallagher

program will feature Dr. Gary Gallagher of the University of Virginia and Dr. Peter Carmichael of Gettysburg College. Dr. Gallagher will present, “Devoted to Union,” a look at how many Americans opted to embrace war rather than see the work of the founding fathers destroyed by secession. Dr. Carmichael will look at Virginias’ descent into war–specifically how the generation of 1861 understood the war and why they fought. John Hennessy will sandwich between the two to look at how the Fredericksburg region reacted to and mobilized for war.

Dr. Peter Carmichael

As before, Dr. Jeff McClurken of the University of Mary Washington will moderate. This program is sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Museum and the University of Mary Washington.  Pre-registration is requested; go to famcc.org. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

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Two Fall Events Worth Your Time

The fall schedule for the regional 150th observance features two premier events.

Hollywood in Blue and Gray.  On Thursday October 6, Drs. Peter Carmichael of Gettysburg College and Brian Luskey of West Virginia University will present:  Hollywood in Blue and Gray: The Civil War in Film.  The program will look at clips from several popular war-related films and will look at how film has shaped Americans’ view of the Civil War. The program will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the main branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg. Seating is limited to about 150, so the library asks that you call 540 372-1144 x232 to reserve a seat.

Years of Anguish II:  A Nation Goes to War, is set for Saturday November 12 at Dodd Auditorium on the University of Mary Washington Campus. Following on our wildly successful inaugural entry of Years of Anguish, November’s program will again look at the war through a national, state, and local lens.  The program will feature Dr. Gary Gallagher of the University of Virginia and Dr. Peter Carmichael of Gettysburg College.  Dr. Gallagher will present, “Devoted to Union,” a look at how many Americans opted to embrace war rather than see the work of the founding fathers destroyed by secession.  Dr. Carmichael will look at Virginias’ descent into war–specifically how the generation of 1861 understood the war and why they fought.  John Hennessy will sandwich between the two to look at how the Fredericksburg region reacted to and mobilized for war. 

As before, Dr. Jeff McClurken of the University of Mary Washington will moderate. 

This program is sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Museum and the University of Mary Washington.

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Schedule for 2011 and 2012 is in place–starts May 7, 2011

The schedule of major events for 2011 and 2012 is confirmed.  The schedule is below, but you can also download a copy here.  Highlights include:

Four major milestone events, including “To Freedom” in May 2012 and the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 2012. Our first milestone event is this coming June:  “Into the Abyss:  Virginia Goes to War,” based at Chatham.

Two of our Years of Anguish programs.  The first will be on November 12 at Dodd Auditorium, featuring Gary Gallagher and Peter Carmichael (along with a more locally oriented speaker).  The topic will be, “Going to War.”

The second will be April 21, 2012, and will feature David Blight and Thavolia Glymph from Duke University. The subject will be emancipation and Freedom.

On April 14, 2012, the Fisk Jubilee Singers will be performing at the University of Mary Washington.  This is the kickoff of the larger “To Freedom” observance.

We will surely be adding things on occasion, and will issue alerts as we do so.

2011

November 12:            “Years of Anguish” II:  Virginia Goes to War:  Featuring Gary Gallagher and Peter Carmichael.  Dodd Auditorium, the University of Mary Washington.

 December 17-18:        Christmas in the Civil War: Chatham and elsewhere.

2012

 March 2012 – May 2013.  “We can never go back”   An exhibit at the Fredericksburg Area Museum

 March 24: “The Churches Remember”:  City of Fredericksburg :  The first of three annual days commemorating the experience of local churches during the war.  (Stafford will be 2013, Spotsylvania 2014)

 April – May: Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, a Man of All Times.  A special travelling exhibit at Chatham, by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

 April 14    Fisk Jubilee Singers (commencement of the Crossing Event).  At the University of Mary Washington.

 April 21                       Years of Anguish III:  Slaves and Freedom. 
Featuring David Blight (Yale) and Thavolia Glymph (Duke). 

 May 4-6:                     To Freedom:   A Milestone Event .   A major event, featuring special tours, music, theater, and a core commemorative moment marking the crossing of 10,000 slaves into Stafford County.  Signature Commemorative Event

 May 19:                       Mr. Lincoln Visits Stafford and Fredericksburg Special programming at Chatham and special tours in Fredericksburg.

 June-December:         “Lost Photographs of the Civil War”:  An exhibit at the Fredericksburg Area Museum. 

December 8-9:        Battle of Fredericksburg  Anniversary. A major milestone event.

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