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Possibilities abound for locals, visitors during Battle of Fredericksburg's sesquicentennial
Innis House, beside the Stone Wall, still bears bullet marks from the Dec. 13, 1862, battle.
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Your best bets are probably music and living-history programs at Chatham Manor on Saturday or Sunday; a tour of Sunken Road and Marye's Heights or a peek inside the battle-damaged Innis House; visiting Virginia's Civil War 150 HistoryMobile at the Battlefield Visitor Center on Friday or Chatham on Saturday and Sunday; hearing a park historian's talk Friday or Saturday night in a prewar church; dropping by the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to see its Silver Family Collection of historical artwork (with several artists on hand to sign prints); or visiting the field hospital at Brompton atop Marye's Heights, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
If you have mobility issues, those options above may be for you, too.
Pay dirt for children likely lies in the re-enactors' camps on Saturday or in the children's musters at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Union troops will camp at Ferry Farm in southern Stafford County, off State Route 3 across Chatham Bridge. The Confederates will pitch their tents at Slaughter Pen Farm in Spotsylvania County, on Routes 2 and 17 east of Fredericksburg, just past Shannon Airport.
Both camps are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with shuttle buses looping between them and parking areas in all three locations. Programs at Ferry Farm cost $1 for ages 6 and up. Everything else is free.
Ferry Farm, which overlooks Fredericksburg and its steepled skyline, will host professor Thaddeus Lowe and his reconnaissance balloon (Friday through Sunday), the ladies' tea, African-American history program and women's fashion demonstration.
It's also where cannons will roar as the Union bombardment of Fredericksburg begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, before attacks on, and in, the town. Slaughter Pen Farm will have a firepower demo from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Glimpses of civilian life in evocative settings can be had from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Rising Sun Tavern, Kenmore Inn, Mary Washington House and Kenmore Plantation in Fredericksburg. The tavern and Kenmore will have field hospitals. Kenmore will also demonstrate 19th-century cooking. The Mary Washington House will depict the looting of town by Union troops.