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National programs, 'Fire on the Rappahannock' re-enactments, HFFI home tour make for many-layered commemoration of Battle of Fredericksurg's 150th anniversary
Be part of the action: Children's programs will be hosted at several sites in the area.
FILE/ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
1-4 p.m. Public and re-enactors participate in National Park Service's Hallowed Ground Processional and Culminating Ceremony. Starts at 1 p.m. Riverfront Park, Sophia Street.
1 p.m. Crossing Hallowed Ground--A Procession. Walk in the footsteps of soldiers through town--enveloped by sound, accompanied by the words of those who were there, and witness to the names of those who fell. The simulated explosion of 100 shells per minute will symbolize the ordeal of the town. Tolling bells will reflect the grief of a nation. Drums will speak to the sacrifice of soldiers. Each participant may carry a flower to the Sunken Road. From Riverfront Park, Sophia Street, to the Sunken Road.
3 p.m. The Culmination: Sunken Road. A program of music, words, reflection, and salutes, including descendant units of both Virginia's Stonewall Brigade and the Union's Irish Brigade. Participants will lay flowers upon the stone wall in remembrance of the fallen. At the Sunken Road, behind Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Lafayette Blvd.
TUESDAY, DEC. 11
NPS "real-time" tours (150 years, to the hour, after battle and in places where events occurred):
Noon-1:30 p.m. "Smoke on the Water: Bridging the River." Follow in the footsteps of Union engineers as they struggled mightily to bridge the Rappahannock River under intense fire at the "Upper Crossing" site. The tour begins at Chatham (Tour Stop 2) and includes some difficult terrain.
2-3 p.m. "Deadly Crossing." Explore the Confederate side of the river at the "Middle Crossing" site, where Union troops piled into boats to mount a cross-river landing. Meet at the City Dock, Sophia Street.
3:30-5 p.m. "Fire in the Streets." Union and Confederate soldiers fought in the streets of Fredericksburg, house by house, block by block--in an unprecedented and frightening new experience of warfare: urban combat. Meet at Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St.
7 p.m. "War Comes to Fredericksburg." A presentation by Frank O'Reilly, as part of Fredericksburg Area Museum's Evening with an Expert series. Mansard Gallery, Fredericksburg Area Museum, 1001 Princess Anne St.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12
NPS real-time tours:
10 a.m.-noon "Looting the Town." Meet at Market Square behind Old Town Hall to explore the damage inflicted in the upper part of town during the Union occupation.
1-3 p.m. "Driven From Our Homes." This program will explore the ordeal of civilians in the lower part of town. Meet at City Dock, Sophia Street.
For the complete details: Program: 1.usa.gov/STUrzK'Fire on the Rappahannock': fredericksburg150 .org Tourism: visitfred.com