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Irish dignitaries, descendant units of three Civil War regiments will star in Battle of Fredericksburg's 150th this weekend
Re-enactors will use two pontoon boats and a U.S. Army floating bridge to cross the Rappahannock River.
REZA MARVASHTI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Union and Confederate regiments will muster at Federal Hill and Trench Hill about 1:30 p.m. for inspections. At 2:20 p.m. at Maury Stadium, 150 men will fire a three-volley salute before the Battle of Marye's Heights begins at 3 p.m. at Trench Hill.
American History TV
C-SPAN, the National Geographic Channel and Heritage Media LLC, a local firm making a documentary, will shoot video this weekend.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, C-SPAN3, the American History TV channel, will broadcast a segment shot during one of the recent "Battle Town" lectures at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. Jeffrey McClurken, a historian at the University of Mary Washington, explains "why Fredericksburg became the center for such a massive conflict at a time when most armies of the era would have gone into winter quarters," the professor said. (Think political pressures and the Emancipation Proclamation, issued two weeks after the battle.)
The Battle of Fredericksburg (Dec. 11-15, 1862) was unusual in many respects, particularly the season in which it was fought in and around the town.
Weather counts now, too, so the weekend's forecast may boost attendance. Saturday will be sunny with a high of 70 degrees, Sunday 61 degrees and partly cloudy, AccuWeather says.
Plan to take a shuttle bus to get around downtown, to Fredericksburg and Spotyslvania National Military Park's visitor center and Chatham Manor, and the re-enactors' camps at Ferry Farm in Stafford and Slaughter Pen Farm in Spotsylvania.
Fredericksburg is imposing parking restrictions and plans to close roads to accommodate the many big events planned downtown to mark the 150th anniversary.
And if you encounter a stranger, it might well be a descendant of the soldiers who fought here. Their kin are coming from all over to witness the occasion.
Clint Schemmer: 540/368-5029
3 p.m. Sunday at Sunken Road: Music, words and respect for sacrifices at FredericksburgPROCESSION
1 p.m. Sunday at Riverfront Park: Trace soldiers' footstepsPONTOONS, BATTLES
10 & 11 a.m., 3 p.m. Saturday: 'Fire on the Rappahannock'TOURS AND TALKS
Park Service rangers inform, guide visitors at Sunken Road, Slaughter Pen, Prospect Hill,
Hundreds of re-enactors
HFFI.org spotlights Braehead, Brompton, Civil War sitesNEXT WEEK
'Real-time' NPS tours Dec. 11-13 and Dec. 15; historians' battlefield preservation banquet Dec. 13
Program: tinyurl.com/frd150 Fire on the Rappahannock: fredericksburg150.org Tourism: visitfred.com National Park on Facebook: bit.ly/fbfred News coverage: bit.ly/fred150