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April 2015

Breakthrough Marker To Be Dedicated

PETERSBURG, Va. — At noon on April 2 a monument will be dedicated at Pamplin Historical Park near the spot that the Old Vermont Brigade crossed 150 years earlier in its charge that broke the Confederate defenses at Petersburg.

The Vermont Civil War Hemlocks are funding the Vermont granite monument from Rock of Ages. It will be placed at Pamplin Historical Park where the Confederate trenches and the breakout area are preserved.

The Hemlocks, the 3rd Vermont, will recreate the charge that broke the line. Hemlock John Sargent will carry the colors. He is the great-grandson of 5th Vermont Color Bearer Jackson Sargent, a Medal of Honor recipient whose name will be on the monument.

Also honored for their lead in breaking through the defenses are Cpl. Charles W. Dolloff, 11th Vt.; Capt. Charles G. Gould, 5th Vt.; Sgt. Lester G. Hack, 5th Vt.; 1st Lt. Gardner C. Hawkins, 3rd Vt.; and Maj. William J. Sperry, 6th Vt.

Their action is depicted in Don Troiani’s “Medal of Honor,” a painting Pamplin Park commissioned and exhibits in the Battlefield Center. It shows Color Bearer Sargent and Captain Gould, the first man over the Confederate defensive perimeter, as he crests the earthworks. He was bayoneted twice and slashed with a saber.

Tax-deductible donations may be made to The Vermont Civil War Hemlocks, c/o  Adj. Ron MacBruce, 168 Ralph Rd., Brookfield, VT 05036. Information is available from Senior Trustee W.E. Minsinger, M.D. at 802-728-5895,

April 9 Bell Ringing

The National Park Service and its partners invite communities across the nation to join the April 9 “Bells across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox” commemoration.

The bells will ring first at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park at 3 p.m. to coincide with the moment the meeting between Grant and Lee in the McLean House ended.

Fifteen minutes later churches, temples, schools, public buildings, historic sites and others are invited to ring bells for four minutes, each minute symbolic of a year of war.

Participants can share their observations at #BellsAcrosstheLand2015

A.P. Hill’s Death

DINWIDDIE, Va. — The 150th anniversary of Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill’s death will be commemorated on April 2 at 12 p.m. at the death site marker veterans erected in 1912.

Near the entrance to what is now Pamplin Historical Park, the 16th annual memorial ceremony will feature actor and performing historian Patrick Falci’s tribute, “Lt. General A.P. Hill, ‘He is at Rest.’”

Hill was killed April 2, 1865, after the Union army broke through Confederate defensive line, now part of Pamplin Park. Two Pennsylvania soldiers who had gotten through the line fired on Hill and his courier who were riding through woods that had been Confederate territory earlier in the morning.

For information call Johnny Anderson, 804-894-3644


Lincoln Cottage Ride

WASHINGTON — President Lincoln’s Cottage is hosting special exhibits and programs in commemoration of President Lincoln’s death.

His April 13 last ride to the Cottage, on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home, the day before he was shot, will be reenacted from 12-3 p.m. on that date.

Viewing stations will be along the route. A brief ceremony will be held at the Cottage after the horses and riders arrive.

From April 18-30 the Cottage will be draped in black mourning as it was in 1865 when Soldiers’ Home veterans and staff hung black cambric.


B&O Commemoration

BALTIMORE, Md. — The B&O Railroad Museum will host a Lincoln Funeral Train Commemoration with narrated commemorations at 11:30 a.m. on April 18 and 19.

The weekend of commemorative events includes reenactments of Lincoln’s funeral cortege and placing of the coffin in the center of the Museum’s National Historic Landmark Roundhouse. Visitors will be able to “view” the President in an authentic reproduction of his casket.

Soldier and civilian reenactors will participate in the solemn ceremonies. Federal City Brass Band will play authentic funeral music. The museum’s 1863 locomotive Thatcher Perkins will accompany the ceremony and be decorated exactly like the Lincoln Funeral Train.

Author and guest curator Daniel Carroll Toomey will narrate the ceremonies.

The museum’s exhibit “The War Came by Train” is showing special artifacts, including an exact reproduction of the overcoat Lincoln wore the night he was shot, a hand-made scale model of the Lincoln Funeral Car, and veterans’ ribbons and uniforms.

Information is at 410-752-2490,;


Ford’s Exhibit

WASHINGTON — Ford’s Theatre Society exhibition, “Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination,” returns items that were in the Theatre or carried by Abraham Lincoln the night of his assassination to the Center for Education and Leadership until May 25. the artifacts come from  multiple collections.

Exhibit items include Lincoln’s top hat, cuff buttons, Brooks Brothers great coat and pockets contents; Mary Todd Lincoln’s black velvet cape; John Wilkes Booth’s deringer pistol;

Also, the bunting flag from the Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre; fragments from the gowns worn by Mary Lincoln and guest Clara Harris; a bloody sleeve cuff and fragment from the actress Laura Keene’s costume; and a violin and drumsticks used in the orchestra.

Lincoln’s carriage, which transported the presidential party to Ford’s Theatre, is on display at the National Museum of American History.

Ticket information is at


Davis Procession

DANVILLE, Va. — On April 18 at 1 p.m. “The Procession of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and His Government” will be recreated in Danville, “Last Capitol of the Confederacy.”

The commemoration will reenact the carriage procession of Davis’s party from the Richmond-Danville Railroad to the Sutherlin Mansion. Spectators are invited to line the route and join military and civilian reenactors for the reading of Davis’s “Last Proclamation,” from the mansion, now home of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History.

The 18th Virginia Infantry, Co. B, Danville Grays, is one of event sponsors.