I had a pretty limited perspective of the many events going on in Fredericksburg yesterday because I spent the day working along the Sunken Road and the Stone Wall (which is one of my favorite places to interpret, so I wasn’t too disappointed at all!) However, I did manage to snag a few photos to share:
I started the day in the Innis House, a wartime structure owned by Martha Stephens–one of two homes she owned along the Sunken Road (the foundation for the other, which had served as the HQ for Confederate General Thomas Cobb, sits a few yards away, just beyond her grave). The most notable feature of the Innis House is that its interior shows the scars of battle–a dramatic representation of the impact the battle had on civilians.
A little later in the morning, a group of Confederate reenactors appeared with a wreath to lay at the memorial for Sgt. Richard Kirkland. A South Carolinian who jumped over the wall after the battle to give water and comfort to dying Federals, Kirkland earned the nickname “The Angle of Marye’s Heights.”
As the morning wore on and peaked into afternoon, traffic on the road picked up. It was the largest number of casual visitors I’d ever seen on the road. It’s tempting to think of the ghosts of fallen soldiers reoccupying the ground, but in silhouette, they looked more like shades.
A reenactment along Hanover Street drew thousands of spectators. After, Union soldiers marched in column down the Sunken Road. Spontaneously, men fell out of line to place springs of boxwood–worn by the Irish Brigade during the battle–on the original section of the Stone Wall as they passed. While I didn’t catch that on camera, I did catch a look at their fife and drum contingent, leading the formation.
There are more events coming up today, so I look forward to another busy day. For more details, check out the schedule of events.