Several readers have asked about the next round of National Park Service 150th events. I noticed today that Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park has several dates posted:
In 1864, the eyes of the nation turned to Virginia, where it seemed the fate of the war would be decided. New to the war in the East, Ulysses S. Grant launched a campaign with the determination that “there will be no turning back.” 150 years later, the National Park Service is proud to offer a series of programs, ceremonies, and real-time tours to commemorate the fateful events of May 1864.
More information will become available as we finalize our plans for the event. If you are only able to join us for a portion of these events, we recommend concentrating your visit during the long weekend of May 8-12.
The Battle of the Wilderness
May 3-4, 2014
The commemorative weekend will begin with an opening ceremony, accompanied by walking tours, talks, and bus tours. An evening program on May 4 will set the stage for the battle to come. Historians will staff stations on the battlefield to add detail to the driving tour.
May 5-6, 2014
On the actual anniversary dates, we will offer several real-time tours, including a sunrise in Widow Tapp’s field on May 6, when the battle hung in the balance.
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
May 8-12, 2014
In 1864, these four days tested the limits of human endurance. To commemorate the climax of the Overland Campaign on our battlefields, we will offer a multitude of commemorative programs, real-time guided walks, bus tours, and living history programs. Our signature culminating moment will be on the evening of May 10, and we will hold a vigil for the 22 hours of continuous combat at Spotsylvania’s famous Bloody Angle on May 12. Historians will staff stations on the battlefield to offer additional information as you tour the field.
May 17, 2014
A Celebration of Freedom–this program will focus on the ending of slavery in Spotsylvania County, as well as commemorating the first combat between soldiers in the United States Colored Troops and the Army of Northern Virginia.
May 18, 2014
The commemoration of the last major attacks launched during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.
May 24-26, 2014
Reverberations: our annual National Cemetery Illumination takes on greater significance partnered with distant communities touched by war, along with our annual Memorial Day program.
The FSNMP staff has two major sesquicentennial events already in the books to brag about. Start clearing your May schedules now!