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July 2014

Fort Stevens

WASHINGTON — Special events July 11-13 will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens. The fort was part of the Defenses of Washington, notable for the attack by Gen. Jubal Early’s forces that were delayed a day at Monocacy, Md., and for President Abraham Lincoln’s exposure to their guns when he visited the fort.

A Friday night historians’ round table will open the anniversary. The commemorative program at the fort Saturday from 10 to 12 will feature several speakers. Activities from 12:30 to 4 will include talks, walks, living history demonstrations, period crafts and music.

On Sunday a 150th anniversary memorial program will honor those buried at Battleground National Cemetery and others who died during the war. It will include reading names of the interred, placing U.S. flags at grave markers and period music.

Historic Fort Stevens is at 13th and Georgia Avenue NW. For information call 202-426-7723 ext. 101 or visit www.nps.gov/cwdw

 

Second Kernstown

WINCHESTER, Va. — The Kernstown Battlefield Association (KBA) will host an anniversary bus tour and two days of free events on July 19 and 20 to commemorate the Second Battle of Kernstown.

Historian and author Scott C. Patchan will lead “The Second Battle of Kernstown: Southern High Tide in the Shenandoah Valley” motorcoach tour on July 19. Registration deadline is July 1. A $95 check payable to KBA should be sent with name, address and contact information to the KBA at P.O. Box 1327, Winchester, VA 22604.

Events will be held from 9 to 5 Saturday and Sunday at the Kernstown Battlefield. Campaigner-style reenactors will portray the 1st Georgia sharpshooter battalion, the 10th West Virginia and two Confederate cavalry units.

Both days will feature Virginia’s Civil War 150 HistoryMobile (until 3 p.m. on Sunday), civilian living          history, firing demonstrations, artillery and artifact displays and two daily fashion shows.

Battlefield walking tours and hourly tours of the 1854 Pritchard House will be given. The visitor center and museum will be open from 10 to 4 each day. On Sunday at 2 p.m. the Shenandoah Valley Minstrels will perform.

For information go to www.kernstownbattle.org

 

Arkansas News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission approved another 11 historical markers towards its goal of having at least one sesquicentennial marker in each of the 75 counties by the end of next year.

The commission awarded more than $8,000 in grants for commemorative projects. They include a Civil War play, commemoration of the Occupation of Camden and Battle of Poison Spring, uniforms for the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment, the Fort Lincoln Freedom Festival and a seminar on the Camden Expedition and Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry.

As of earlier this year the commission had sanctioned 535 anniversary events that more than 200,000 people attended.

For information visit www.arkansascivilwar150.com

 

Valley Conference

MIDDLETOWN, Va. — On Aug. 2, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation will host its second 1864-2014 Sesquicentennial conference: “’Is the World Being Set on Fire?’ The 1864 Shenandoah Campaign and the Burning.”

Covering the period from August-October 1864, which included Third Winchester, Cedar Creek and the Burning, the conference will feature historians and authors Jonathan Berkey, Eric Campbell, Jonathan Noyalas, Scott Patchan, Nancy Sorrells and Jeffry Wert.

The conference will be held from 10 to 5 at Lord Fairfax Community College. The cost is $20. For information call 540-740-4545, email theder@svbf.net or go to www.shenandoahatwar.org

 

St. Albans Raid

ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Business Insider published a detailed account of the St. Albans Raid, the Oct. 19, 1864, Confederate attack on the northern Vermont town which will commemorate the 150th anniversary from Sept. 18-21.

Raid historian James Fouts shared the story of the raid, which Kentuckian and former Union prisoner Lt. Bennett Young organized. Two dozen men in the “5th Company Confederate States of America Retributors” were mustered in and carried out the raid from Canada.

The raiders, in civilian clothing, infiltrated the town over 10 days. At the appointed time they took hostages, robbed three banks and set fires. The only fatality was a civilian from out of town.

The St. Albans Raid Commemoration Committee will host raid reenactments, walking tours, talks, living historians, exhibits, music and a ball. For information go to www.stalbansraid.com

 

Atlanta Trail

TUNNEL HILL, Ga. — The Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail was dedicated with special events at the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center and tours at sites along the route.

The Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea both began in May 1864. The trail marks the 340-mile driving route along the Chickamauga and Atlanta Campaigns, featuring new interpretive markers at nearly 50 Civil War sites.

Visitors to Tunnel Hill can see the Western & Atlantic Railroad tunnel and the Clisby Austin House, a hospital for Gen. John B. Hood after the 1863 Battle of Chickamauga and a headquarters for Gen. William T. Sherman during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign.

For more information go to www.civilwarheritagetrails.org

 

Asians In War

The National Park Service will be publishing another book in its series featuring ethnic groups that fought in the Civil War.

Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civil War will be available this winter at www.eparks.com and www.wnpa.org. Essays by historians and many illustrations will tell the stories of these soldiers and sailors who fought on both sides.

The first two books in the series were Hispanics and the Civil War and American Indians and the Civil War.

 

Johnsonville Anniversary

JOHNSONVILLE, Tenn. — Johnsonville State Historic Park in New Johnsonville and Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in Benton County, which are across the Tennessee River from each other, will observe the Battle of Johnsonville 150th anniversary with a commemorative living history event on Nov. 1 and 2.

The Nov. 4, 1864, battle occurred when Confederate cavalry under Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked and nearly destroyed the Union supply base at Johnsonville from the other side of the river.

The Battle of Johnsonville is the only historical event in the country to have two state parks dedicated to its remembrance. Union programs will be at Johnsonville State Historic Park and Confederate programs at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pontoon boats will go between the two parks.

Both parks will have firing demonstrations, period civilian activities, cavalry demonstrations and Friday school days. In addition, a 1 p.m. walking tour at will be given on the Nov. 4 anniversary date at Johnsonville.

For information visit www. Tnstateparks/Johnsonville.com or call 931-535-2789.

 

Gilmor’s Raid

One of the daring events in Civil War Maryland was the July 11, 1864, raid by Confederate Maj. Harry Gilmor on Magnolia Station in Harford County.

Gilmor’s 150 men in the 1st and 2nd Maryland Battalions of cavalry were sent to burn the railroad bridge over the Gunpowder River. They also cut the telegraph line and cut down telegraph poles.

Riding on the train they captured at the station was U.S. Gen. William B. Franklin, in civilian clothes. He was en route from Baltimore’s President Street Station to Philadelphia. A second train that came along was captured and burned on the bridge after Confederate prisoners on it were released and other prisoners were taken.

The event was commemorated in 1991 with a weekend event near the site at Edgewood Arsenal at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Cavalry reenactors left the Maryland Military Academy near Glyndon on July 3, reaching the arsenal on July 6 for a weekend of public programs hosted by the 1st Maryland Cavalry CSA and Maryland Signal Detachment, CSA hosted the commemoration.

 

Overland Campaign

RICHMOND, Va. — There were many highlights during Richmond National Battlefield Park’s two-week commemoration of the battles of Totopotomoy Creek and Cold Harbor, key parts of Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign. 

On May 31, in a short ceremony on the battlefield descendants of Patrick H. Doody, a native of Ireland serving in the 164th New York Infantry, gave the park the Medal of Honor he received for gallantry in leading men during a night attack at the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 7, 1864.

The culminating program on June 3 featured David Adams, a landowner adjacent to the park, whose family has farmed and lived on the land since before the war. An American history teacher at Richmond Community High School, Adams wondered aloud about his ancestors’ experiences as soldiers fought and died on their fields.

He described his own personal exploration of what it means to know that land you love is also ground that harbors so much violence and horror.

More than 5,000 visitors took advantage of commemorative ranger, historian, living history and other programs that included walking tours, demonstrations, family activities, candlelight programs, talks and music.