May 6, 2013

150th Chancellorsville Reenactment

Wow! What an event. We just returned from the Chancellorsville reenactment in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The weather was cool and hoods and shawls were the fashion of the weekend. Chancellorsville is well known for being the place where Stonewall Jackson was shot by friendly fire and subsequently died, causing a lot of problems for the Confederates.

At the end of April in 1863, Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker crossed the Rappahannock River in eastern Virginia, placing his troops in a great position to attack Confederate Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee's exposed flank.

Gen. Jackson quickly moved 30,000 Confederates over the river in a circular sweep, placing his troops on Hooker's right flank, a daring achievement.  The Confederates caught the Union off guard while they were eating breakfast. It was said to be General Lee's best command.

The battles were large and although I only got to witness Saturday's battle, the battle on Sunday sounded like the most fun I have ever heard from a battle reenactment. Throughout the whole battle, there was constant fire from battalions as well as a line of cannon. The rebel yells were constant and could be heard all the way in our camp.  

There were many specialty impressions at this event, including the more obvious Lee and Jackson and some not so often seen such as Thadeus Lowe with his observation balloon.

There was a small museum that put the town into its historical context during the war. The museum had a lot of interesting pieces from thousands of years ago to the people who founded the area in the 1600s and the town's Civil War history. 

It was also home to one of the most hysterical displays I've ever seen. :) The museum is haunted and I was lucky enough not to just catch a photo of one ghost but of a lot of ghosts.

Sign "Ghosts, lot, Circa 1864: Acc# 1864. 

That's a hysterically great way to fill an empty display case.

We went to see the battlefields on Saturday night but only had time to see a couple of things here and there. It was about a 5 hour drive for us, so we knew we wouldn't be back there any time soon. Andy commented that he did not realize that some of the battlefields there were so built up. I knew they were in trouble but didn't realize that the Sunken Road at Fredericksburg stood looking at a neighborhood. The CWT is trying to purchase land at Chancellorsville to protect some of the important sites during the battle. Through matching donations, each $1 they collect will be multiplied by 13. So even a $5 donation will become $65 dollars. Please donate, if you can.

It was a fantastic event overall.  


  1. I was there too!! I love your pictures! It was an awesome reenactment! I just put up pictures from it today as well.

    1. Thanks! Took a look at your blog. Loved the photos!

  2. That was one of the most fun events I think we've been to in a long time. Despite the rough terrain in camp and the long drive through terrible traffic, I really had a good time. I'm kind of sorry to be back.

    1. I agree. I wish we stayed down there a few more days to see the rest of the battlefields.

  3. Ooh, a balloon!

    Also, the ghost display is really cool, to use a modern phrase.


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