eSesquicentennial New Briefs
(as printed in the)
August 2012 Issue
Civil War News

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July 2012 Issue 150th News


Kids’ To-Do Book

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Civil War Trust recently published a book designed to help young people, especially 8- to 12-year-olds, experience the past in fun and age-appropriate ways. 

Civil War Kids 150: Fifty Fun Things to Do, See, Make, and Find for the 150th Anniversary (Lyons Press) is an interactive book designed to involve kids in Civil War Sesquicentennial commemorations.

“History is more than just reading facts and memorizing dates — history is about exploring the past, discovering the unknown and solving mysteries,” said Trust President James Lighthizer. “With this unique book, we’re encouraging kids to get involved in the past through a variety of fun and educational experiences.”

The 50 activities are divided into four sections: Create, Perform, Find and Read/Watch. Activities include baking hardtack, making signal flags, hiking a battlefield, cracking a code, reading a battle map and playing a drum or fife.

Letters from soldiers and period photos introduce readers to the personal side of history and encourage them to think about how the war impacted individuals. The book’s checklist format allows them to track their progress as they work on projects in various categories.

Last year the Trust published The Civil War 150: An Essential To-Do List for the 150th Anniversary.



Culpeper Seminar

CULPEPER, Va. — “Anguish and Freedom: The Yankees Descend upon Culpeper,” a seminar about the summer of 1862, will be held July 21, with morning talks and lunch followed by a bus tour.

The African American Heritage Alliance Inc. and Friends of Wilderness Battlefield Inc. are hosting the event at Germanna Community College.

Speakers are authors and             historians Donald Sutherland, John Hennessy and James Bryant. Clark B. Hall will moderate the presentations that will address such topics as Lincoln’s policies, military shifts, Gen. John Pope’s arrival in Culpeper, and the question of emancipation and slave refugees.

The 8:30 to 12:30 session will be followed by the afternoon “The Rappahannock: A River to Freedom” tour led by Hall. “An evening with Dr. Dan Sutherland” reception will begin at 6 p.m.

Fees are charged for each segment of the seminar. For registration information go to or contact, (540) 547-2395.


Bristoe Anniversary

BRISTOW, Va. — Prince William County’s Bristoe Station Battlefield Park will host the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Kettle Run on Aug. 25 at the park.

The free event will feature the 10 a.m. dedication of a new interpretive trail on the 133-acre site, living history programs, tours and military demonstrations. From 8 to 10 p.m. tours of living history scenarios on the battlefield, which will be lit with 1,000 candles, will be given. Reservations, at $10 each, are suggested.

The Battle of Kettle Run was fought Aug. 27, 1862, between C.S. Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s rear guard, following a raid on Federal supplies at Manassas Junction, and U.S. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s men. The three-day Battle of Second Manassas began the next day. The Battle of Bristoe Station was Oct. 14, 1863.

For information call (703) 366-3049 or go to


W.Va. Speakers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —  The West Virginia Humanities Council’s Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau has added two speakers and four new lecture topics. Speakers are available for presentations through Oct. 31.

The Humanities Council pays speaker fees and expenses and provides promotional assistance for each program. Host groups are expected to have an audience of at least 40 people for the free programs.

The speakers are Mark Snell, Hunter Lesser, Joe Geiger, Aaron Sheehan-Dean and Kenneth Bailey.

For information contact Mark Payne at (304) 346-8500, or visit


Ox Hill 150th

FAIRFAX, Va. — The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ox Hill (Chantilly) will be commemorated by the Fairfax County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee and the Fairfax County Park Authority on Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Ox Hill Battlefield Park.

The free event will include artillery demonstrations, period music, presentation of colors, speeches, wreath laying and living history interpreters. Shuttle bus service will be provided from the county government center on Government Center Parkway.

The Sept. 1, 1862, fighting at Ox Hill at the end of Second

Manassas occurred during a fierce thunder storm. Union Gens. Isaac Stevens and Phil Kearny died there. Afterwards, Union troops completed their retreat to the fortifications around Washington. The Confederates turned north and crossed the Potomac River, igniting the Maryland Campaign.

For information go to


Hispanics In War

ATLANTA, Ga. — The National Park Service (NPS) recently published Hispanics and the Civil War: From Battlefield to Homefront that tells the story of the roles Hispanics played on both sides of the Civil War.

The 40-page illustrated publication is part of a sesquicentennial series focusing on various ethnic groups. The first developed by the NPS and Eastern National were about African Americans.

Southeast Regional Director David Vela said, “Hispanic citizens and immigrants alike fought on land and sea in every theater of the war — particularly in the Southwest in lands steeped in Hispanic heritage.”

Some 20,000 fought, in addition to Hispanics who were active on the home front. “The Civil War is shared by all Americans.  Hispanics can be proud of their history and legacy during one of our nation’s most defining moments,” said Vela.

The booklet is available at


Lost Order Exhibit

FREDERICK, Md. — The original Special Orders 191 by Gen. Robert E. Lee that were lost and found on or near Monocacy National Battlefield will return to the site for display at the park visitor center from Aug. 1 through October.

The document will be on loan from the Library of Congress.

On Sept. 9, 1862, during the Maryland Campaign, Lee wrote the orders while his army camped at the Best Farm, now part of the park. They outlined his plans for the Army of Northern Virginia and divided the army into four sections to secure garrisons and supplies and capture Federals at Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry and Boonsboro, while he went to Hagerstown.

Copies of the orders were written for each of Lee’s commanders. The copy for Maj. Gen. Daniel Hill was lost. He had received orders from his immediate superior, Maj. Gen. Thomas Jackson, before being given his own command the next day and did not realize another order had been sent from Lee’s camp.

On Sept. 13, members of Co. F, 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, discovered the orders in an envelope with two cigars on or near the national battlefield. They passed through the chain of command to Maj. Gen. George McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac. That evening his commanders had their orders to march.

Lee had anticipated that he would have time for his army to complete their tasks then join him to march north. Instead, the two armies fought at South Mountain and on Sept. 17 at Antietam.

McClellan halted Lee’s invasion into the North and historians still debate the ramifications of the loss and finding of Special Orders 191 and its impact on the campaign.



N.J. At Gettysburg

WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. — The New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee has released its fourth publication, David G. Martin’s New Jersey at Gettysburg Guidebook. It is written for casual visitors and serious students of the battle.

The book gives a comprehensive account of the state’s soldiers through synopses of regiments and batteries, their strength, weapons, casualties, movement, and postwar commemorative monuments.

It is indexed, illustrated, has maps and GPS locations and an appendix on the New Jersey burials at Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

Copies are available at and from Longstreet House, P.O. Box 730, Hightstown, NJ 08520, for $15 plus $5 shipping. Bulk sale discounts are available.


Arkansas News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the National Park Service will sponsor “An Empire in Extent: the Civil War West of the Mississippi” seminar Aug. 9-11 at the University of Arkansas Global Campus in Fayetteville. Information is on the group’s website at

The commission has added seven new Civil War cell phone tours. They can be accessed by calling (501) 203-3015 or from the website.

Four grants totaling $7,089 were awarded for projects commemorating the war. They include a Lunenburg skirmish reenactment, Mississippi County living walk through history, a Pine Bluff theatrical performance and Civil War programming at Fort Smith.

A dozen historical marker applications were approved for sites in six counties.