August 9, 1862 marked the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Mountain!
This year’s special event on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 featured these exciting battle reenactments:
Saturday: Attack of the 28th New York. At approximately 6:00 PM on August 9, 1862, three regiments of General Samuel Crawford’s Brigade attacked across a wheatfield on the western side of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. They shattered the incomplete left flank of the Confederate battle line and routed most of the regiments present, pursuing them almost ½ mile and overrunning the Confederate artillery on Crittenden Lane, before being stopped by fresh Confederate troops including the 13th Virginia Infantry, who were raised in Culpeper. Our reenactment portrayed the 28th NY Volunteer Infantry, which took 258 men into battle and lost over 200 of them, and the 150 men of the 1st VA Battalion who opposed them.
Sunday: Attack of the 7th Ohio. At approximately 6:15 PM on August 9, 1862 four regiments of Ohio troops under General John W. Geary, advanced through a cornfield bordering the Orange-Culpeper Road, into the teeth of Confederate musket and artillery fire. The brigade was in two lines of two regiments each. On the right of the first line was the 7th OH Volunteer Infantry. The 7th OH took 309 men into battle that day and 191 would become casualties in the space of 30 minutes. Our reenactment walked in the footsteps of the 7th OH as they take casualties, close ranks, and press on, and follow the advance of the 47th AL and 37th VA of Taliaferro’s brigade, supported by Confederate artillery that is present.
In addition, visitors enjoyed living history programs such as the following:
- Arms demonstration (infantry and artillery)
- Military encampments offered the opportunity to stroll amongst the Union and Confederate camps and learn about the life of a soldier.
- The amazing work of photographer Robert Szabo, nationally recognized for his expertise with 19th century wet plate collodion photography. Using a portable dark room and old-style camera, Mr. Szabo demonstrated how to prepare glass plates for use in his camera and develop glass plate negatives on site.
- The signal station offered the opportunity to see a demonstration of signal flags and learn how messages were coded, sent and decoded.
- The role of the cavalry in the Civil War at the cavalry station.
- Hands on history tents for children to explore wartime artifacts such as shell fragments and bullets, investigate old maps and photographs of Cedar Mountain, try on Confederate and Union jackets and go inside a tent to check a soldier’s uniform and bedroll.
- A moving feature of the weekend is always Sunday’s Memorial Ceremony presented by Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB). This ceremony with color guard recognizes the fallen at Cedar Mountain whose names have been submitted to the FCMB Ancestors Roll by their descendants.
- The music of the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Band was a high point of te weekend.
From our 2021 anniversary event:
- Visitors saw the amazing work of photographer Robert Szabo, nationally recognized for his expertise with 19th century wet plate collodion photography. Using a portable dark room and old-style camera, Mr. Szabo demonstrated how to prepare glass plates for use in his camera and develop glass plate negatives on site.
- Visitors learned about the wartime experience of the 46th Pennsylvania Infantry — shattered at Cedar Mountain with 30 killed, 34 badly wounded, and 6 captured — from two authors! Ben Myers, in period uniform, showcased his book American Citizen. Myers’ book documents the Civil War experience of George Brooks, a captain in the 46th PA during the Battle of Cedar Mountain. Myers’ great great great grandfather served in Company D of the 46th PA under Captain Brooks. Author George Bradley brought copies of his two books to Cedar Mountain: Surviving Stonewall and They Knew No Glory, a set that follows the 46th Pennsylvania through to the end of the war.
- The Cedar Mountain signal station demonstrated use of signal flags and message encoding, used by both armies during the war.