Destinations, Events

Celebrate 150th Commemoration of the Civil War and Emancipation

April 16, 2014 by

Civil War

History buffs have an opportunity to celebrate all kinds of historic anniversaries in Virginia this year. It was 150 years ago that the Civil War returned to Virginia with a rekindled drive for emancipation.

Now Virginia has an entire year of special events, reenactments, and commemorative activities planned to mark pivotal events that occurred in that state in 1864. While many of these events will appeal to Civil War and history enthusiasts, family-friendly elements are included in the mix to keep the entire family happy.

Civil War

Battle Re-enactments

More major Civil War battles took place in Virginia than in any other state. It is the state where Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant first fought head to head in some of the most intense fighting of the Civil War. Visitors will have the opportunity to witness re-enactments of these battles, ask questions and/or participate in the camp life of soldiers and their families.

And for those interested in other eras, Revolutionary War re-enactments as well as a few WWI and WWII commemorations will be held around the state. For a complete overview of battle re-enactments visit Virginia Re-enactments.

In May, three Virginia Civil War National Battlefield Parks will combine efforts to offer a one-of-a-kind commemorative event. Rangers from Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania, Richmond and Petersburg National Battlefields will visit selected communities which lost heavily in those battles and will conduct simultaneous luminary programs at the battlefields.

Other Things to Do

Along with re-enactments and other living history events, Virginia visitors will also be able to enjoy guided battlefield tours, lectures, special exhibits and more throughout the state. Along with the special events being held this year, make Virginia’s museums part of your travel plans. They, too, are offering amazing temporary exhibits to complement their permanent collections.

For example, the Museum of the Confederacy is offering the Gettysburg: “They Walked Through Blood,” exhibit through September. It tells the story of “Pickett’s Charge” and includes battle flags carried by regiments in Major General George Pickett’s division as well as personal artifacts carried by soldiers who took part in the charge.

Photo credits: Mr.TinDC, Matthew Straubmuller

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