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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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On Saturday, meet the battle's generals at Slaughter Pen and Ferry Farm from 9 to 11 a.m. and at Riverfront Park from 1 to 2 p.m. Kids can learn about a drummer boy's life or speak with re-enactors from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Fredericksburg Area Museum. Young folks will learn what the war meant to the men, women and children who experienced it.
Only mildly interested in the nation's costliest conflict? Well, OK.
First, see "time-starved," above. Then, consider an exhibit at the Fredericksburg Area Museum ("Picturing the Civil War" in the McKann Center's Documents Gallery or "We Can Never Go Back" in Old Town Hall); or at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library's headquarters (atrium and first-floor hallway). Or choose sheer spectacle: Watch Saturday's pontoon-bridge crossing, urban combat around City Dock and Sophia Street or the Irish Brigade's assault on the stone wall at Trench Hill. And who knows? One of the park rangers' walks Friday through Sunday, or Dec. 11-13 and Dec. 15, might grab you. Sutlers, provisioners to the army, will set up in the city's Riverfront Park all weekend, selling their wares much as their 19th-century predecessors did.
Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc.'s Christmas Candlelight Tour, centered on Hanover Street, provides another choice. Some of its sites--most notably Brompton--figured in the battle, but lots of folks go just to see the beautiful holiday decor.
Many options: Friday's bus tour; Saturday's battle scenarios (10, 10:20 and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.); Saturday's 2 p.m. military formations and inspections at Federal Hill and Trench Hill; Sunday's 1 p.m. procession from Riverfront Park to Sunken Road and the 3 p.m. culmination at the Kirkland Monument on Sunken Road; a reception, dinner and lectures by historians Gary Gallagher and Robert K. Krick at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 with the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust; any of the park's "real-time" tours Dec. 11-13; and the Dec. 15 tours of Belvoir, Franklin's Crossing and the "City of Hospitals."Program: 1.usa.gov/STUrzK Fire: fredericksburg150.org Banquet: cvbt.org visitfred.com
Clint Schemmer: 540/368-5029