The Carnage was Fearful: New book about the battle

Just published, a new look at the Battle of Cedar Mountain by historian Michael Block, former vice president of Friends of Cedar Mountain.

Now available from publisher Savas Beatie and other outlets, The Carnage was Fearful, a look at the Battle of Cedar Mountain by author Michael Block. Mike is the former vice president of Friends of Cedar Mountain and has spent countless hours developing interpretation of the battlefield and escorting visitors to the battlefield on in-depth tours. Continue reading “The Carnage was Fearful: New book about the battle”

Volunteers invited to 4/9 Park Day

Join us on April 9 and be part of an annual event, sponsored by the American Battlefield Trust (ABT), that supports historic preservation through community involvement in restoration and maintenance projects.

Join us for Park Day on Saturday, April 9, from 9:00 am – noon! Check in begins at 8:30 am. Volunteers are welcome to join a guided tour at 1 pm.

This spring cleaning of the battlefield will take place RAIN OR SHINE!

You’ll be a part of an annual event, sponsored by the American Battlefield Trust (ABT), that supports historic preservation through community involvement in restoration and maintenance projects.

Park Day projects at Cedar Mountain Battlefield include trail maintenance, cleaning up the cannons and battlefield signage, clearing the trails and cemeteries of winter debris, litter removal along the battlefield frontage on General Winder Road, weeding and raking around the meeting house, and more.

All projects will be outdoors.

For everyone’s safety, we ask that participants please have masks available and be considerate of social distancing.

We recommend that volunteers bring their own gloves and garden tools. Hedge and weed trimmers are greatly appreciated. Electricity is available for landscaping/trimming efforts near the Meeting House but not on the battlefield.

In appreciation of volunteers’ efforts, there will be a hotdog bbq at noon and ABT water bottles for participants to take home.

Please let us know you’re coming by sending an rsvp to info@friendsofcedarmountain.org – this will help us develop a “plan of attack” for the day! 

Arriving at 8:30 am for check in will allow projects to get started promptly.

Join the tour: At 1 pm, a Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield (FCMB) historian will host a two-hour guided walking tour of the battlefield where on August 9, 1862 Confederate troops led by General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson prevailed over Federal troops led by General Nathaniel Banks at a cost of 3800 men killed or wounded. A donation is appreciated to help support battlefield education and stewardship efforts.

Looking forward to seeing you on April 9th! We greatly appreciate the help volunteers offer on Park Day!

 

Seasonal wreaths at the battlefield

Volunteer Jennifer Michael came to the battlefield on Tuesday, December 6, bearing beautiful seasonal wreaths to be placed at the monument near the Crittenden Gate, the cemeteries, and the meeting house. To construct the wreaths, Jennifer uses a base of grapevine enhanced with cedar, holly, boxwood, and pinecones from her trees. In preparation for putting the final touches on the wreaths she spent a solid two months drying citrus slices. We’re very  grateful to Jennifer for including Cedar Mountain in her wreathmaking efforts and for sharing the photos below.

This is a memorial for Private Simmons of the 45th Georgia Volunteer Infantry. The memorial stone is located in the Throckmorton family cemetery on the battlefield. John Aris Throckmorton of the 6th Virginia Cavalry and Mary (Molly) Crittenden married in 1867 and established their home known as Stonewall Farm on the battlefield.
The gravestone for Mariah Willis is located in a small cemetery behind the meeting house. We believe the cemetery is connected to property formerly owned by the Slaughter family, but research efforts have not turned up information about Mariah Willis that corresponds with the date on the headstone.

Event: Soldiers of Virginia 1607-1945 – canceled due to weather

Due to the forecast for inclement weather Friday night into Saturday, Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield has decided to cancel our outdoor event Soldiers of Virginia, 1607-1945, scheduled for Saturday, October 30th. We hope visitors will join us for Soldiers of Virginia next year on October 29, 2022.


Continue reading “Event: Soldiers of Virginia 1607-1945 – canceled due to weather”

Children’s event on October 23

Children ages 2-11 welcome to attend Hands on History program at Cedar Mountain Battlefield.

We’re delighted that on October 23 the battlefield will be the setting for an outdoor children’s event held by the Museum of Culpeper History. Please note that if interested, you should contact the museum to reserve your child’s spot (see details below).

At this Hands on History gathering, activities and crafts for groups ages 2-5 and 6-11 will be offered, including: making and flying kites, learning about and making Potomac Creek pottery created by Virginia Native Americans, and making a Cedar Mountain battle plan! Activities will last around 30 minutes. Attendees should bring water, wear comfortable footwear and dress appropriately for weather conditions. The fee for each participating child is $5.00, to be paid upon arrival. In order to allow for social distancing, it is suggested that each child is signed up for a time slot. To reserve a spot or for more information, visit www.culpepermuseum.com or contact the museum at education@culpepermuseum.com.

Searching for witness trees at Cedar Mountain

In mid September, the Friends of Cedar Mountain (FCMB) board was honored to host an interesting visitor: Dr. Gary Strobel, a renowned microbiologist and naturalist who makes beautiful pens and other items such as small magnifying glasses from the wood of witness trees. Dr. Strobel and his wife Soozie spent a few days in Virginia exploring a number of area battlefields in hopes of identifying trees that may have witnessed the clash of armies during the Civil War. Continue reading “Searching for witness trees at Cedar Mountain”

ABPP grant research update

In May 2020 Friends of Cedar Mountain received an American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) grant to study the Civil War Rapidan Front and 1863-64 Winter Encampment in Culpeper County. Research has been underway since fall 2020. Historian John Salmon, a member of the team supporting the grant research, recently provided the following update:

To date, I have compiled a roughly 80-page single spaced history of the county the 1863-1864 Federal Winter Encampment, and the Rapidan Front. Most recently I have explored extensive primary source material relevant to local history and the camp. There is no question that the camp and the front are of national significance for their association with the Army of the Potomac and the reorganization of that force during the Winter Encampment to create the army that won the war for the United States.

The research and analysis of the Winter Encampment landscape, and its many contributing features (encampment sites, signal stations, viewsheds, pickets and patrols, ford defenses and remnant structures) continue to be surveyed. Fieldwork has identified the extensive network of ford crossings and confirmed advanced picket locations. Work continues this summer to identify related supporting structures and historic roads.

The goal is to complete this project by the end of this calendar year. The process requires reviews by federal agencies including the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Below is a map of one portion of the study area along the front, depicting the viewshed relationship of advanced pickets and their proximity to defensive positions monitoring the historic ford crossings. 

Further use prohibited; map is a draft.

The key at the top right of the map includes:

-The Rapidan River marked as a red line; green circles on the river mark the historic fords.

-Red circles at the top of the map represent brigade positions (4000 men)

-Other colored circles represent pickets. Purple; company position, 100 men. Blue; 25-50 men. Yellow; 11-25 men. Green; 10 or fewer men.

We look forward to sharing more information related to the grant research effort as the study progresses.