Virginia is home to more Civil War sites than any other state, nearly 800 in total. History lovers come to Virginia to explore Civil War sites that stretch from the first major battles to the war’s end at Appomattox, and to explore the stories of ordinary people who did extraordinary things during the war.
To get as-near a Civil War experience as possible, attend a battle reenactment. It just so happens that several major reenactments are this weekend.
In Spotsylvania this weekend, your family can tour 1860s home life interpretive areas, listen to period music performed by the 2nd South Carolina String Band, gain knowledge of the battle and Virginia’s role from historians, buy Civil War souvenirs, and witness a reenactment of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, the second major battle of General Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign. It’s Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20 at Spotsylvania Courthouse Village. $10/Adult; ages 15 and under are free.
One major battle that is reenacted annually is the Battle of New Market in the Shenandoah Valley. Also held this Saturday and Sunday, this event places an emphasis on the importance of the corps of cadets from Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. The 300-acre battlefield comes to life again as nearly 2,000 reenactors play out the scenes on this 148th anniversary. In addition to the impressive battle scenarios, living history encampments educate attendees. Be sure to visit the Virginia Museum of the Civil War and see the Emmy award-winning “Field of Lost Shoes.” $10 for ages 10 and up; ages 9 and under are free.
For a unique point of view of the Civil War, attend the reenactment of the Battle at Fort Pocahontas in Charles City this weekend. The United States Colored Troops built the earth fort as protection from Major Fitzhugh Lee’s approaching forces. The USCT were victorious in their May 24, 1864 stand. See this battle reenacted both Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20.
See other upcoming battle reenactments at www.Virginia.org/BattleReenactments/ or signature Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and Emancipation events at www.Virginia.org/CivilWar150SpecialEvents/.
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