Category Archives: Sesquicentennial

Petersburg 150th Events

Petersburg National Battlefield has posted their 2015 schedule of events.  These include a good number sesquicentennial observances.  Some of those which caught my eye, as specifically timed to 150th events:

150th Anniversary of The Battle of Hatcher’s Run

Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 3:00 pm
Location: Five Forks Contact Station, 9840 Courthouse Road, Dinwiddie, VA

Lecture will commemorate the first of the 1865 battles aimed at cutting off supply lines to General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, and bringing about the fall of Petersburg.

The Saturday following (February 7th), the park hosts a set of talks.  One focuses on the death of “Sallie,” the mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry in the battle of Hatcher’s Run.  With the talk is a demonstration by the 544th Military Working Dog Detachment from Fort Lee.  “See the evolution of military dogs from mascots to modern day working dogs.”  (I don’t think that angle has ever been worked for Civil War interpretation… good one!)  The second talk, scheduled for 2 PM, as Emanuel Dabney discussing “how Confederate soldiers were dealing with the war in what turned out to be the last months of service for the Army of Northern Virginia.”

Civil War 150th : Battles of Ft. Stedman and Jones Farm Living History Weekend

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Time:  Ft. Stedman 10:00 am – 11:00 am;  Jones Farm 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Locations: Ft. Stedman Tour Stop #5 Eastern Front, 5001 Siege Rd. Petersburg VA; and Jones Farm Tour Stop #3 Western Front, Church Rd. & Flank Rd. Dinwiddie Co. VA.

The weekend event matches to the “real time” observance which falls on the following Wednesday:

Civil War 150th: Battles of Ft. Stedman and Jones Farm Real Time Tours

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Time: Ft. Stedman 5:00 am -8:00 am;  Jones Farm 3:00 pm -3:45 pm
Locations: Ft. Stedman Tour Stop #5 Eastern Front, 5001 Siege Rd. Petersburg VA; and Jones Farm Tour Stop #3 Western Front, Church Rd. & Flank Rd. Dinwiddie Co. VA

The following weekend (March 28-29) feature living history displays at Five Forks, Fort Gregg, and Hopewell (in conjunction with a panel discussion about the River Queen Conference).  There is also a night-time tour of Five Forks on March 28, 6-8 pm.

Then over the first days of April, the observances come as thick as the action of 1865:

Faces of Five Forks
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Location: Five Forks Contact Station, 9840 Courthouse Road, Dinwiddie, VA

Civil War 150th: Breakthrough Real Time Tour
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 5:30 am – 6:30 am
Location: Tour Stop #3 Western Front, Church Rd. & Flank Rd. Dinwiddie Co. VA

Civil War 150th: Breakthrough: Ft. Mahone Commemorative Ceremony
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: Ft. Mahone & Pennsylvania Monument on Wakefield Drive, Petersburg VA

Civil War 150th: Breakthrough: Battle of Ft. Gregg Commemorative Ceremony
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Tour Stop #4 Western Front, Sampson Rd. & 7th Ave. Dinwiddie Co. VA

See the Petersburg NPS website for more details on these events.

Couple these events along with those occurring at Appomattox starting on April 8 and you see the last spring of the Sesquicentennial will be a busy one!

 

16th Annual Civil War Seminar at Longwood University: Three days in March!

This year will mark the 150th anniversary of the Appomattox Campaign, which brought the Civil War through Farmville, Virginia and eventually to Appomattox.  So it is fitting that Appomattox Court House National Historic Place and Longwood University pull out all the stops for their 16th Annual Civil War Seminar – three days of top speakers along with a battlefield tour.  From the Appomattox Court House NHP website:

Friday, March 13

5:30 p.m. Doors open

5:50 p.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy, Longwood University

6:00 p.m.Tracy Chernault, The Fall of Petersburg

7:00 p.m. Michael Gorman, Photo Forensics: Richmond, 1865

8:00 p.m. Chris Calkins, The Appomattox Campaign: Nine April Days

Saturday, March 14

8:30 a.m. Doors open

9:00 a.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles

9:10 a.m. Chris Calkins, Black Thursday: The Battles of Sailor’s Creek, April 6, 1865

10:15 a.m. Patrick Schroeder, The Battles of Appomattox: Final Fury and the Last to Die

11:15 a.m. Ron Wilson, Surrender at Appomattox

12:30 Lunch

1:45 p.m. Elizabeth Varon, Legacies of Appomattox: Lee’s Surrender in History and Memory

2:45 p.m. Mark Bradley, Fort Fisher to the Bennett Place: Closing Operations in North Carolina

4:30-6:00 Sailor’s Creek State Historical Park Special on Site Visit with Chris Calkins and Park Staff

Sunday, March 15

8:30 a.m. Doors open

9:00 a.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles

9:10 a.m. Bert Dunkerly, The Forgotten Surrenders: Alabama, the Trans-Mississippi, and Indian Territory

10:15 a.m. Casey Clabough, Confederadoes

11:15 a.m. John Hennessy, Freedom, the Civil War and its Legacies

Except for the battlefield tour, the location is Longwood University, Jarman Auditorium, Farmville, Va.   And the “price” is easy on your pocket book – FREE. 

The seminar is sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, & Philosophy at Longwood University; Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, and Eastern National Bookstore.

As with the last few years, I consider the seminar somewhat a “prep” for the sesquicentennial season ahead.  I plan to attend, blogging and tweeting while there.  Hope to see you there!

Sesquicentennial’s final stretch run … to Appomattox in 2015!

Civil War Trust is playing the “Long Game,” as they have all through the Sesquicentennial, as they look to 2015.  On Friday, October 31, the Trust and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will hold a press conference to announce new preservation efforts at Sailor’s Creek and High Bridge.   Efforts to preserve more of those battlefields happens right at the time our 150th-focused attention looks towards the Virginia Southside.  (And, oh by the way, the Trust has now passed the 40,000 acres preserved mark… just four years after passing the 30,000 mark.)

April 2015 is not far off.  For those of us who’ve taken the time to be “in the moment” for the 150ths, it’s time for some long range planning of our own.  Not to overlook the actions at Petersburg and Richmond between now and March …  but if I may offer a critique, those events need to get posted on the respective park websites!  I know many will look at that first couple of weeks in April as an “anchor” in sesquicentennial plans.

And the trail is blazed well, thanks to long efforts to provide interpretation along the route of Lee’s Retreat.  And there are plenty of resources to follow this campaign.   So no excuses for this one!

Appomattox Court House NHP already has posted a list of events from April 8 to April 12, 2015.  Links there also mention events in the county and the Museum of the Confederacy – Appomattox.  I’m glad to see a number of real time events, to include printing paroles, listed.  Such will be a bit less “battle” than at other 150th NPS events.  But that’s the nuts and bolts history that I like. Walk us through the history, as it happened!

Still there’s a lot of space between Five Forks and Appomattox.  I’m sure more events are planned for those opening days of April next year.  Certainly a bus tour or two.  If nothing else, just a drive through the Southside over those days, with Chris Calkins guide in hand, is attractive.  Regardless, I plan to be out there every day I can.  Maybe using a hashtag like #apmtx150?

Who’s with me?