Tag Archives: Civil War

The Battle of New Market 153 Years Later

When my brother and I were young my dad would take us on these weekend excursions to Civil War battlefields.  Never really sure if this was a hobby of his or just something he thought would be cool to do with his two sons.  For whatever reason we went to many battle fields over the years and it stuck with me.  Not so much the love of the Civil War but the love of traveling and getting the most out of a vacation.  A vacation should be relaxing but it can also be educational as well.  These trips I think help sparked my curiosity and love of learning.

When I was traveling down to Asheville for The New Mastersounds and beer I found a few spots on the side of the road that looked interesting.  One of them was the Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market.  When I finally got around to checking out their website I noticed they had their annual reenactment later in May.  I asked my brother initially on Mother’s Day if he wanted to go.  I thought it would be something cool to do with him and the kids.  He initially said no but by late in the week he was on board but keeping the kids at home.

The park had activities all day but we only cared about the reenactment which was happening at 1 in the open field.  Almost on the dot we hear the loud boom of the cannons signaling the start of the battle.  It was really cool how they played it all out.  They stated way off to the left of the field and battled initially with little forces right in the middle of the tall grass.  The battle progressed just like they would have in the real battle, just on a smaller scale.

Different phases of the battle raged around the structures, the orchard, open field and tree line.  Eventually the Confederates charge the Union line breaking it and winning the battle.  This is certainly over simplified but the end result is the same. It was really cool seeing all the people firing the guns and acting in real life what could have happened all those years ago.

All in all it was a solid hour of reenacting which was great.  With the black powder guns and the humidity in the air the smoke would just hang covering the field of battle. I can’t imagine a humid summer day wearing a heavy wool uniform with thousands of guns firing. In the end the VMI cadets make a valiant charge to capture a Union artillery battlement.

It was a long drive out the museum so after the battle we didn’t stay long.  We went up to the museum for a few minutes to walk around.  Saw part of a documentary about the battle while we cooled off.  We were so tired from standing outside and me double so because of the previous late night before.

As an adult I have never been in to reenactments.  Seeing one now not much has changed from when I was a kid.  Now the crowds are smaller and I think the participants are becoming older and fewer.  If you haven’t been, I recommend going at least once before they themselves fade away into history.

 

Mothers Day 2009

My Aunt called me on Wednesday saying she was throwing a BBQ for my Grandmother on Mothers Day and my Mom was going to be there.  So of course I was going to show up for a great chance to see my mother’s side of the family.  It was a wonderful lazy afternoon on a day that finally saw the sun shinning.  Jim cooked hot dogs and hamburger on the grill along with all the sides you would expect at such an event.

As the sun set and the light became soft I took advantage of the remote setting and got some pictures of the many birds around the yard.  Alice’s house in Fredericksburg sits on 7 or so acres of land with dozens of bird houses and feeders.  As you would expect the yard was filled with birds flying around also enjoying the late Spring afternoon.  I framed shots with the a fence, bird house, and feeders in the pictures.  I was even able to spot a rabbit right at the edge of the forest.

As the evening wound down and it was time to leave I decided to stop by the Chancellorsville Civil War Battlefield.  A couple weeks ago I visited the Manassas Battlefield and figured it would be a good idea to stop by this one.  Being far from my house I didn’t know the next time I would be down in the area.  The setting Sun again provided some good opportunities for great photos.  It was just to idyllic not to stop for a few minutes.

The small parking lot marked the site upon which the Chancellor House once stood.  During the last day of the battle the house burned down to the ground as the Confederates over ran the superior numbers of the North.  I was amazed to find out that all five cross roads from the original site are still being used today.  Add a few extra lanes and some black asphalt for color and you take once narrow dirt roads soaked with American blood and turned them into modern roads.   So as the sun set I got some decent shots of the surrounding field and cannons.

Manassas Battlefield

manassas_battlefield_april_2009-01

It has been years, since I was a kid actually, that I have been to the Manassas Civil War Battlefield.  I decided to stop by and walk around on my way home from Nancy’s house.  Normally I would do a hike in the early afternoon, but this time I was hoping to catch some good light as the sunset across the battlefield.

When I arrived I skipped over the visitor center thanks to my National Park Pass and went right to the Brawner House to hike.  When I was looking at the map it seemed like a long hike, I could walk around the park and get a few different views.  The trails are a little hard to follow, the markers are not clear and there is no real “trail” to follow, just open fields.

I was taking the long way around the to get to the Brawner House.  I was hoping to walk through the fields and forest as the sun set and then end up at the house when the sun is just about to set. Part of the trail was closed, so of course I took it.  I just had to see where the trail went and why I was not suppose to be there.  The trail had definitely been closed for a while.  Most of the trail was over grown with several down trees blocking the path.  It looks like the park authority is expanding the open fields in the park.  They have chopped down large sections of forest and it has created a mess for the trail.

Brawner House
Brawner House

This walk in the woods turned out to be a mistake.  Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to explore sections of the park no one has seen for a while.  But when I got back to my truck I found about 12 ticks crawling on me, several of them had started to bit me.  Every where I looked I would find one.  Big black wood ticks and several small deer ticks.  When I was satisfied I had gotten most off me Nancy called me.  When I answered the phone I noticed yet another tick just sitting on my shoulder.  I couldn’t tell you how badly I wanted to get home and take all my cloths off.