I mentioned the 150th events at Stones River National Battlefield a while back. The park staff has a daunting task. Not only to interpret one of the war’s largest, and most overlooked, battles – but also to do so in the middle of the holiday season, in the dead of winter!
The schedule for the sesquicentennial observance starts the day after Christmas. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (December 26 to 28th) schedules feature talks providing campaign overviews and stories from the soldiers and civilians involved. Each day the park offers car caravan tours of the battlefield. And for those of us who like to get out on the field and get immersed, hour long walks over selected areas of the battlefield.
For Saturday and Sunday (December 29 and 30), the park has living history demonstrations and family oriented events. Further afield are a series of thirty minute presentations starting at 11 AM and running through 4 PM discussing the different phases of the battle. Monday, December 31 has fewer events, but include more living history demonstrations and a one hour tour of the final Union line on the Nashville Turnpike.
On New Year’s Day, the rangers offer a discussion of the battle action (an overlooked day of actions in an overlooked battle, mind you) on that day 150 years ago. Also on the schedule is an hour long tour of the earthworks built during the battle by the Pioneer Brigade. At 1 PM, an actor portraying President Lincoln offers insight into the Emancipation Proclamation – which took effect 150 years ago that day. The observances wrap up on January 2 with programs at the site of Mendenhall’s Batteries.
Now the question – who’s up for a wintertime sesquicentennial?