Remembering the “Great Gamble” at Cedar Creek

8th Vermont Monument, Cedar Creek Battlefield
8th Vermont Monument,
Cedar Creek Battlefield

This weekend, the National Park Service, in conjunction with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, Belle Grove, and the Shenandoah National Battlefield Historic District will combine to host a series of events commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek.

As historian Kyle Rothemich aptly put to visitors today at the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Visitor Contact Station when he outlined the battle underscores the importance of this October engagement: “The Battle was a Confederate victory by lunch time and a Union victory by dinner.”

History with a food analogy—filling in both regards!

Although 3,700 acres of the battlefield is preserved, only 89 acres is actually under National Park Service stewardship as we speak. The other acres are part of partner-controlled land, so this weekend, for a fee, one can see a reenactment actually take place on government land.

Or tour a mansion that resonates back to a peaceful time, prior to war’s eruption in the Shenandoah Valley. It saw, on October 20, 1864, prewar friends, who had become antagonists in battle, reunite to share a last moment with a dying friend and enemy officer. All this at Belle Grove.

Want to stick to the National Park Service’s free events? How about joining up with the real-time programs? Park Historians and VIPs will be situated at different battlefield stops to explain how the action unfolded. Programs continue on Sunday around the acreage that was so hotly contested 150 years ago this weekend.

On Sunday morning, join yours truly for a walk in the footsteps of Major General Joseph Kershaw’s Division as we retrace their route on the morning of October 19th.

For further details about all these events, or just to come visit this climatic struggle in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, click here.

Hope to see you around the battlefield!

[Cedar Creek, Virginia]
Alfred Waud sketch, Battle of Cedar Creek

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