Fredericksburg, VA- Four major Civil War battles were fought in the Fredericksburg area, including one of the deadliest of the war, the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in May 1864. It was here where the armies of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee saw one of the most intense clashes in American history: the Union attack on the Confederate "Bloody Angle." For twenty hours on May 12, 1864, the Bloody Angle witnessed the most intense hand-to-hand combat of the war. This battle marked the beginning of the fall of the Confederacy and was remembered by soldiers from both sides as one of the darkest days of the entire war. Now, relive the conflict on May 21 - 22, when these quiet, rolling fields come to life once again near Spotsylvania Courthouse. More than 600 Civil War reenactors will participate in the annual Battles of Spotsylvania 2011 Civil War Reenactment.
The "Civil War Evening Under the Stars" kicks off the event on Saturday, May 21 at 4 p.m. Experience a first-hand view of a Cavalry demonstration and enjoy a dinner of beans and cornbread just as the soldiers would have had. After dinner, entertainment will be provided by the nationally known 2nd South Carolina String Band, followed by a Civil War era dance that everyone is invited to join in. Also, participate in candlelight tours of the camps and learn how to fire a cannon. The event is limited to 500 people and tickets must be purchased in advance. A family ticket is $30 and includes two adults and children under 18. A single adult ticket is $15; children ages 3-12 are $5.
The Battle of Spotsylvania reenactment is scheduled for Sunday, May 22 at 1 p.m. Participate in a nondenominational period church service at the Pavilion, followed by exploration of camps to catch a glimpse inside the private lives of Civil War soldiers. Put yourself in the shoes of soldiers as you walk through their individual camps to see the way they lived, bathed, slept, ate, and activities that kept them occupied.
Learn about Civil War-era medicine, journalism and more from living historians and speakers. Special tours will be offered at the Bowman Center starting at 9 a.m. with a special tour of an open car train trip at 10 a.m. given by the Rappahannock Chapter of the National Railroad Historic Society. Gather at the Jim Carpenter Company parking lot for a walking tour of Franklin's Crossing, the third pontoon crossing during the battle of Fredericksburg.
Sutlers, civilian merchants who sold provisions to soldiers in the fields during the war, will have period items for sale. Food vendors will also be available with modern day food selections. A family ticket is $20 and includes two adults and children under 18. A single adult ticket is $8; children ages 3-12 are $5.
While enjoying the days' festivities, take a tour of Blue & Gray Brewing Co. and A. Smith Bowman Distillery where you can sample locally-brewed beer. Then, perhaps enjoy lunch at Lee's Retreat located at the Blue & Gray Brewing Co. and feast on Virginia-raised chicken, produce from local farms and beef that is marinated in their very own beer. Or, enjoy Nino's Pizza Place located at Bowman Center, at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, where you can enjoy hand-tossed pizza, cold and hot subs and much more.
When planning your trip to the Fredericksburg area, http://www.FredericksburgVAcations.com
offers vacation packages to help fit your travel needs. The Civil War 101 - Battlefields & Bullets Package starts at $159 and includes 3 days and 2 nights of accommodations, admission to the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, White Oak Civil War Museum, and admission to both short films on the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville shown at the Fredericksburg Spotsylvania National Military Park. Learn about how Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men and explore the hallowed ground where Grant and Lee faced off in furious battle at Wilderness Battlefield. For more information on additional packages or to book travel, visit http://www.FredericksburgVAcations.com.
For more information on the Battles of Spotsylvania's 2011 Civil War Reenactment, or to purchase tickets for either of the events, visit http://www.spotsylvania.org/2011.htm.
For travel information to the Fredericksburg area, visit http://www.visitfred.com.
The Fredericksburg Area, which includes the city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Spotsylvania and Stafford, is a classic blend of modern life with small town charm. Conveniently located along I-95, between Washington and Richmond, the area features a variety of chef-owned restaurants, numerous art galleries, a wide range of specialty shops, and one of America's most authentic, historic downtowns. Stafford is home to George Washington's boyhood home, Ferry Farm and Belmont, the residence of 20th Century American impressionist painter Gari Melchers. Spotsylvania is not only the site of 4,400 acres of Civil War battlefields; it also boasts the beautiful Lake Anna Winery. The Fredericksburg Area rests on the banks of the picturesque, pristine Rappahannock River. For visitor information, visit http://www.VisitFred.com.
For online trip planning, visit http://www.FredericksburgVAcations.com.
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