Vermont at Cedar Creek Weekend set for June 24-26

cedar creekCedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park announce the special event, “Vermont at Cedar Creek Weekend” on June 24-26.

This commemorative event will consist of a series of free special ranger programs, a “History at Sunset” program, living history encampments and demonstrations, along with the re-dedication of the 8th Vermont Monument, which was restored by the National Park Service last year.  All of these programs and activities will explore the role Vermont troops played in the Battle of Cedar Creek, fought on October 19, 1864.

“Of the many battlefields on which Vermonters fought during the Civil War, Cedar Creek held the most significant for the soldiers from the Green Mountain State,” said Eric Campbell, the park’s chief of interpretation.  “The role of Vermont troops on this battlefield was critical in helping to turn an apparent defeat into a resounding Union victory.  The programs and events offered during this commemorative weekend will not only highlight Vermont’s contributions at Cedar Creek, but also provide reflection and meaning to their sacrifices.”

Participating in the activities will be noted Vermont historian Howard Coffin, who has written and lectured extensively on Vermont in the Civil War, and State Senator Joseph Benning, who was instrumental in the creation of a Vermont state historical marker on the battlefield, dedicated during the battle’s 150th anniversary commemoration in 2014.  Coffin will begin the weekend’s events by speaking on Vermont in the Civil War during the “History at Sunset” program on Friday, June 24.  Both Coffin and Benning will also participate in the re-dedication of the 8th Vermont Monument on Saturday, June 25.

The story of the 8th Vermont is one of the most famous incidents related to battle.  Belonging to a brigade that sacrificed itself during the early morning hours of the battle, the regiment lost nearly 70 percent of its men.   In 1885, a simple monument was erected to honor the sacrifices of the regiment, one of only three veteran placed monuments on the battlefield.  The National Park Service cleaned and refurbished the monument and the surrounding commemorative fencing last fall, restoring it its original appearance.

Additionally, members of a living history group will also participate during the weekend, setting up a typical Civil War camp and offering firing demonstrations on both Saturday and Sunday (June 25 and 26).

A special ranger program on Saturday, June 24 (6:00 p.m.) at the Winchester National Cemetery will also highlight the stories and sacrifice of some of the many individual Vermont soldiers who fought in the Shenandoah Valley.

The park will also set up a temporary “Descendants Display” at the Visitor Contact Station (7712 Main Street, Middletown).  Any visitors who had ancestors serving in a Vermont unit in the Shenandoah Valley are encouraged to share that information throughout the weekend on this exhibit.

The complete schedule of events for the weekend includes:

 

Friday, June 24th  

  • 6:30 p.m.   “History at Sunset” – Howard Coffin:  “War!  Vermont Responds!”
  • 7:15 p.m. “The Valiant Stand of Thomas’s Brigade” – Ranger program

 

Saturday, June 25th

  • 9:00  a.m. – The 10th Vermont at Cedar Creek –Ranger program
  • 10:00 a.m. – Re-dedication of the 8th Vermont monument
  • 11:00 a.m. – Living History program and firing demonstration
  • 1:00 p.m. – The Vermont Brigade at Cedar Creek –Ranger program (90 minutes)
  • 2:00 p.m. – Living History program  and firing demonstration
  • 3:00 p.m. – The 1st Vermont Cavalry at Cedar Creek –Ranger program
  • 4:00 p.m. – Living History program and firing demonstration
  • 6:00 p.m.  –Vermont’s Sacrifice in the Valley (Winchester National Cemetery)

 

Sunday, June 26th:  

  • 10:00 a.m.  The 8th Vermont at Cedar Creek –Ranger program
  • 11:00 a.m. – Living History program and firing demonstration
  • 1:00 p.m. – Living History program and firing demonstration
  • 2:30 p.m. –Cedar Creek in a Box (Belle Grove)

For program locations, questions or for further information, call: (540) 869-3051.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park offers a wide variety of ranger-conducted programs, which tell the park’s many stories related to the rich cultural history of the Shenandoah Valley and the American Civil War.  These programs are offered regularly. Check the park website (www.nps.gov/cebe) or call (540) 869-3051 for a current schedule.


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