Last year was the 160th Anniversary of the American Civil War battles that took place during 1862, so our hiking group visited several Civil War battlefield sites, some of which had “Living History” events, featuring costumed reenactors. You don’t get in as much mileage as you would get from a normal hike, but you certainly get some interesting sights.
This battle took place on August 9, 1862, and the living history event took place on August 6, 2022. In the historical event, Confederate General Robert E. Lee responded to the advance of the newly-formed Federal Army of Virginia, under the command of General John Pope, by dispatching Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s corps, reinforced by A.P. Hill’s division, towards the center of Pope’s line. The two forces collided at Cedar Mountain, just southwest of Culpeper. The result was a narrow Confederate victory, but also a shift in attention from the Peninsula back to northern Virginia, giving Lee the initiative. The living history event took place on land preserved by the American Battlefield Trust, and featured civilian, Confederate, Union army reenactors.
Second Manassas (Brawner’s Farm)
The Battle of Brawner’s Farm took place on August 28, 1862, the follow-on from the Battle of Cedar Mountain and the prelude to the larger Battle of Second Manassas. The living history event took place on August 27, 2022, at the Manassas National Battlefield Park. A unique feature of this event was that spectators were invited to join in the ranks and accompany the reenactors as they marched around the battlefield. Once the shooting started, however, they had to stand aside.
I managed to take a couple of videos during this event; the first is somewhat marred by the sound of aircraft flying overhead. You can’t win ’em all.
Fredericksburg (Slaughter Pen Farm)
We have hiked over the Fredericksburg battlefield before, but always focused on the ill-advised Federal attack along Marye’s Heights, on the Confederate left flank. The Federal attack at Slaughter Pen Farm took place on December 13, 1862, against the Confederate right flank. The living history event took place on December 10, 2022, on land purchased and preserved only in June, 2022, by the American Battlefield Trust.
This year is, of course, the 160th anniversary of the Civil War battles that took place in 1863. I’m not sure yet which will feature living history events, but here are a few notable opportunities we will keep an eye on, either to attend living history events, or just to hike:
- March 9: Mosby’s Raid on Fairfax, Virginia
- March 17: Battle of Kelly’s Ford, Virginia
- May 5-7: Battle of Chancellorsville Reenactment, Chancellorsville, Virginia (the actual battle took place April 30 – May)
- May 3: Mosby’s Raid on Warrenton Station, Virginia
- June 6: Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia
- June 23-25: Battle of Gettysburg Reenactment, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (the actual battle took place July 1-3)
- October 14: Bristoe Station, Virginia
- November 7: Rappahannock Station, Virginia
- November 27: Mine Run, Virginia
Thanks for the heads-up on upcoming Civil War anniversaries. Glad to see that Mosby is still remembered. He was one of the most savvy Confederate leaders. He opposed both slavery & secession but joined up after Virginia exited the Union.
The only two living history events planned for next year that I’ve heard about so far are at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. The latter is a little distant, and both, being on NPS property, are subject to all sorts of whimsical, politically driven restrictions.
As for Mosby’s raids, I plan to do group events at Fairfax and Warrenton, even if no living history events are scheduled.