In cooperation with the Library of Virginia’s 150th Legacy Project
Come and share an opportunity to listen and learn about memories of the Civil War as it was waged on the Northern Neck of Virginia. This event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 adults/$5 children/children under 5 free/FOS free/Donors to Library of Virginia Project free (see below).
Schedule of Activities
9:30 AM — Gates open
9:30 AM – 7 PM — Visitor Center open
11 AM – 3 PM — Stratford Hall Dining Room open
11 AM – 7 PM — Gift Shop open
9 AM – 6:30 PM — Bivouac of Civil War Re-enactors on Oval
10 AM – 4 PM — Civil War 150 Legacy Project in duPont Library
2 PM – Chamber Chorale – 20-minute performance in Preservation Gallery
2:30 PM – Chamber Chorale – 20-minute performance in Preservation Gallery
3 PM – Chamber Chorale – 20-minute performance in Preservation Gallery
3:30 PM – 5 PM — Laura Hazel, genealogist, in Preservation Gallery
4 PM – 5 PM — military units and action on the Oval
5 PM — last Great House tour
7:30 PM — Gates close
About the Library of Virginia 150th Project at Stratford Hall
The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and the Library of Virginia have partnered to create a state-wide online collection of original Civil War manuscripts that still remain in private hands. The Civil War 150 Legacy Project: Document Digitization and Access focuses on manuscript materials created during the period 1861-1865 that reflect social, political, military, business and religious life in Virginia during the period of the Civil War and the early period of Reconstruction. Materials from both Union and Confederate states will be scanned. Citizens are encouraged to bring original family materials to be scanned and included in the Project. Scanned materials will be made available on the web via the Library of Virginia web site and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission web site.
CW 150 Legacy Project staff will be at Stratford to scan documents from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Donors to the Project will have free admission to the event. Appointments are encouraged and a limited number of walk-ins will be accommodated, as scheduling allows.
By having the documents digitalized, future researchers, educators, and historians will have access to a collection of Northern Neck Civil War era manuscripts. This Project offers residents in the Northern Neck a rare opportunity to preserve and share their family memories. Professional archivists will do the scanning at the duPont Library at Stratford. Flatbed scanners and cameras are used; if an item is too big for the scanner, a photograph will be taken instead. Following the digitization process, donors may elect to have a DVD made of their scanned images, which will be mailed to them after the event.
About the Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg
The Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg is a marvelous ensemble with fresh, innovative, and wonderfully performed programs. This select choir, now in its 23rd season, has been noted for its beautifully blended tone, wide dynamic range, highly expressive singing, and extraordinarily diverse repertoire, including works by many living composers. Some highlights of past seasons include performances at the Fredericksburg Festival of the Arts, the American Choral Directors Association Regional Conference, and a concert this past fall with the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra. Music Director Mary-Hannah Klontz received a master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a bachelor of music education from the University of Akron. She is currently pursuing a doctor of musical arts in choral conducting at George Mason University. Mrs. Klontz is the arts education specialist in Arlington (Virginia) Public Schools where she has taught vocal music at all levels. In addition, she has long-served as director of youth and contemporary music at Redeemer Lutheran Church in McLean, Virginia. She enjoys composing, and her Point Me to the Stars is included in the Henry Leck Creating Artistry series with Hal Leonard. For more information, visit the Chamber Chorale website https://www.ccfbg.org.
About Laura Hazel
Laura Wilkinson Hazel says of herself, that she is a…”Navy brat – lived all over, so I never had any “roots”. Must be why I do family history – to create bonds with relatives I never knew in person.”
Ms. Hazel graduated with a degree in history from the University of Virginia and has recently taught genealogy workshops for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She has volunteered in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties at the Family History Center of the Mormon Church, the world’s largest genealogy collection in the world. Laura is an Honorary Genealogist for the Sons of the American Revolution and received the Martha Washington Medal “in grateful recognition of her outstanding service to the Sons of the American Revolution” (SAR). This award is for five years of researching and recording applications for the Sons of the American Revolution, finding verification of Revolutionary patriots, and for locating the genealogical proof of “Forgotten Patriots” that have never been recognized by the Daughters or Sons of the American Revolution. In 2011, Laura was awarded, for continued service to the SAR, the Oak Cluster which enhances the prestige of the original Martha Washington Medal. In January 2012, Laura received the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution Chapter Service Award. She is the first woman to receive this state level award.
Ancestor hunting often becomes easier when you know the historical context in which a family existed. The American Civil War changed this country forever. People’s lost fortunes caused economic upheavals and mass migration for tens of thousands here in Virginia. Tracking the generations before, during and after the Civil War creates a genealogical snapshot from a very personal, and American, perspective.
About the 53rd Virginia Company H Mattaponi Guards
The original 53rd Virginia infantry regiment fought during the American Civil War of the 1860s. It saw action throughout the war, primarily in Virginia. The most famous battle the unit fought in was at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in July 1863. During this engagement, the 53rd Virginia, including Company H, took part in the most famous charge of the war on July 3. During Pickett’s Charge, members of the 53rd Virginia and other elements of Armistead’s Brigade temporarily breached the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.
The modern day version of Company H, 53rd Virginia, came into existence in July 1990 and is now in its 21st year. The first flag of the unit saw action in August 1990 when the Mattaponi Guards took part in their first event at a parade in Walkerton, Virginia. It was there that the long history of today’s unit began its reenacting story.
After winning 1st place for specialty units in the “Loyalty Days” parade in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in May 1992, Company H started what became an annual event for many years to come. During the next decade, Company H attended and/or hosted events at Stratford Hall,with one of its members getting married on site in 2003. The 53rd Virginia is currently recruiting new members, so come out and join the ranks. The members of the unit have a love for true history and an enjoyment of the outdoors. They do this in memory of those who fought in the 53rd Virginia, as well as others who battled for what they believed during the Civil War … both North and South.
Schedule of Encampment Activities
9:30 AM — Camp opens
10:30 AM — Infantry drill on Oval
11 AM — Artillery drill by Richmond Howitzers on Oval
1 PM — Infantry drill on Oval
2 PM — Kids drill on South Lawn
3:30 PM — Artillery drill on Oval
4 PM — Civil War Action on Northern Neck at encampment
5:30 PM — Artillery drill on Oval
6 PM — Infantry drill on Oval
7:30 PM — Camp closes
The Original Richmond Howitzers
Organized 10 May 1861 at the Richmond College Artillery Barracks
17 April 1861: Orders from Governor Letcher were dispatched for immediate mobilization within hours after the State Convention voted for secession. The next few weeks brought forth numerous changes to the organization in the 1st Virginia Infantry. The first company to be removed from the regiment were the Howitzers who mobilized at the Spotswood Hotel on 19 April. Shortly thereafter they reported to the Richmond College Artillery Barracks consisting of 225 men and six Dahlgren Howitzers. Applications to join increased at an enormous rate. The Howitzers pulled from the 1st Virginia and formed into a battalion of three companies.
Organized by George Wyeth Randolph, the grandson of Thomas Jefferson, at the time of John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, the Richmond Howitzers grew into a battalion of three companies by 1861. An elite unit, the Howitzers served with distinction from 1st Manassas to Appomattox.
Richmond Howitzers 3rd Company’s formation began at the Baptist Seminary, Richmond, Virginia, in June 1861. It was attached to the 1st Regiment Virginia Artillery, and then became an independent company. The Richmond Howitzers became assigned to J.T. Brown and R.A. Hardaway’s Battalion of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia. They served in the Richmond area and were actively engaged from the Maryland Campaign to Cold Harbor, and actively participated in the siege operations against Richmond and the Appomattox Campaign. At Gettysburg, the engaged unit consisted of 62 men; however, many were captured at Sayler’s Creek on April 6, 1865. They were among others during the surrender of the army. Captains Edgar F. Moseley, Benjamin H. Smith, Jr., and Robert C. Stanard were in command.
About the Northern Neck during the Civil War
Though there were no epic battles fought on the Northern Neck, the population of the peninsula experienced many of the negative effects encountered by other civilian populations during the war: military occupation, civil disorder, economic devastation and military engagements. Now, 147 years after the Civil War ended, residents of the Northern Neck still hold traces of the conflict. The Civil War era remains very much a part of local history.
After the war broke out in the spring 1861, President Abraham Lincoln’s war department instituted the “The Anaconda Plan.” This plan was part of a wide-ranging strategy instituted by the Union government designed to blockade Southern ports. Its prime purpose was to “strangle” the south by blocking the flow of economic goods into the South and exports out. Hundreds of Union gunboats patrolled the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and adjacent Virginia peninsulas.
Though the Northern Neck never saw any major military action, raiding parties and frequent skirmishes were common. The sustained effect on the local population, especially following the battles of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Courthouse and the Wilderness, only aggravated the apprehension and economic struggle of the citizens. To live through the Civil War on the Northern Neck was to survive and cope with the stress of living in a “sea of war.” Though not suffering the total destruction inflicted on many Southern communities, the Northern Neck was economically damaged, a condition which lasted until well into the 20th century.