Sesquicentennial News Briefs
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December 2014

Richmond’s Fall

RICHMOND, Va. — Living historians are invited to help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the April 1865 Fall of Richmond at two events on April 4. Registration deadline is Jan. 31.

Special programs are planned from April 2-4. Planners hope to have the Virginia State Capitol serve as the hub for most events, with downtown tours exploring the Confederate evacuation and the arrival of Union troops, including U.S. Colored Troops, and the impact on residents.

Museum exhibits, living history, and hands-on activities are planned, and a commemoration ceremony at the Capitol.

Living historians are needed to represent the first Union troops to enter the city. They will march from Rocketts Landing to Capitol Square for the commemorative ceremony.

They are also needed to interpret the occupation of Richmond on the Capitol grounds. Tentative plans are for Union, Confederate and civilian interpreters to portray life in the city in the first few days after Union troops entered the city.

Overnight camping will be available at Richmond National Battlefield Park’s Fort Harrison unit.

For registration and information contact Ed Sanders, Supervisory Ranger, Richmond National Battlefield Park, 804-226-5026; or Tim Fredrikson, coordinating committee member,

Member organizations of the Future of Richmond’s Past are planning the commemoration. For information visit


Lincoln Portraits

WASHINGTON —Two new paintings of the Lincoln family recently went on permanent display in the lobby of the Willard InterContinental.

Oliver T. Carr Jr., president and CEO of the Oliver Carr Company and general managing partner of the Willard Hotel, commissioned the portraits by artist John Gable.

One depicts Mary Lincoln and eldest son Robert, and the other shows President Lincoln with sons Willie and Tad.


Fort Fisher 150th

KURE BEACH, N.C. — In anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the Jan. 15, 1865, fall of Fort Fisher, a Dec. 6 program will commemorate the first Federal attack that took place Dec. 23–27, 1864.

“We Kept Our Courage Up” at Fort Fisher State Historic Site will feature military camp life with soldiers, sailors and marines from both sides. The site’s 32-pdr. seacoast gun will be fired at 10, 12, 2 and 4 p.m.

Confederate infantry manual of arms and firing demonstrations will be held at 11, 1 and 3 p.m.

The January 150th commemorative events will be held the weekend of Jan. 17-18 (see separate story).

The fort is open from 9-5 Tuesday through Saturday. For information call 910-458-5538 or visit and


Massachusetts Records

BOSTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission reports that nearly four dozen institutions have participated in its “Treasures in the Attic” program.

The program invites historical commissions, historical societies, libraries and museums to participate in creating an inventory of monuments, artifacts, objects, and records pertaining to Massachusetts’s involvement in the Civil War.

Working with Massachusetts State Archives staff, the commission will use this information to create an online, searchable database of the state’s Civil War history. The aim is to make the public aware of the sources of information and sites of commemoration.

Some of the information provided so far includes a gavel in which a bullet from the Battle of Lookout Mountain is lodged; draft plans for ironclad vessels; soldiers’ letters, diaries and belongings; and a soldier’s quilt signed by grateful townsmen.

For information visit


Mine Creek 150th

PLEASONTON, Kan. — The largest battle in Kansas, on Oct. 25, 1864, at Mine Creek was recently commemorated by Fort Scott National Historic Site in partnership with the Kansas Historical Society at its Mine Creek Civil War Battlefield State Historic Site.

The battle found Confederates retreating two days after a defeat at Westport, Mo., trying to ford Mine Creek with a large wagon train. They continued on to Arkansas, ending the Confederate threat to Missouri and Kansas.

The commemoration included walking tours to the ford, exhibits, and living historians. Fort Scott staff showed reproduction dragoon/cavalry saddles and talked about the battle which likely prevented Confederate attack on the town 23 miles south of Mine Creek.