Event preserves legacy of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign

In June 1862, Stonewall Jackson’s historic Valley Campaign came to a thunderous climax at the Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic in Rockingham County.  This June 9, 150 years later, guests from across the nation will gather on the Cross Keys battlefield for a landmark Sesquicentennial program: “If This Valley Is Lost”: Preserving the Legacy of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

Co-sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, “If This Valley is Lost” will commemorate Jackson’s historic campaign, honor the men who fought here – and the civilians who lived through those days – and spotlight the remarkable work done to preserve these hallowed grounds.

This event will begin at 6:00 pm with a barbecue dinner and a host of special activities, including living history by the 10th Virginia Infantry, youth activities and Civil War-era games presented by the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, interpretation at the pivotal site of the Battle of Cross Keys by National Park Service Ranger Eric Campbell, and period music by the Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums, Grammy-nominated singer Scott Christopher Murray, and the Shenandoah Valley Minstrels.

In addition to the games, activities, and living history, youngsters (18 and under) who attend the program will also receive a special “Foot Cavalry” commemorative t-shirt, and will be able to take part in a unique “March of the Valley Voyagers,” where the young people will claim the spotlight as they march to the stage just before the program begins, accompanied by reenactors and members of the Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums.

The main program will begin at 7:30 pm, featuring special guest speakers Lieutenant Governor William T. Bolling, Speaker of the House William J. Howell, Secretary of Natural Resources Douglas W. Domenech, and Director of the Department of Historic Resources Kathleen S. Kilpatrick.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr, the nation’s most renowned expert on Stonewall Jackson.  The program will conclude with an honor guard salute and musical tribute to the men in blue and gray who fell during the Valley Campaign.

From hearing “Oh Shenandoah” echo across the landscape amidst the fading light, to listening to personal accounts of the battle as you stand in the soldiers’ footsteps, to learning the remarkable story of the work to preserve these hallowed grounds, this promises be a memorable, meaningful evening, and the signature event of this year’s Sesquicentennial in the Valley.

Make your plans now to join us on one of the most beautiful preserved battlefield sites in the nation.  Tickets, which include a barbecue dinner and admission to all programs and activities, are $20 per person and $30 per family (two adults and children under 18); youths ages 13 and under are free.  (Youths still must pre-register.)  The deadline to order tickets is June 1.

To order tickets, you can download the registration form on the SVBF website, www.ShenandoahAtWar.org, of you can sign up by calling the SVBF at 540-740-4545.  For more information, email theder@svbf.net or call 540-740-4545.


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