One of the great annual traditions at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Cemetery is the annual Memorial Day Luminaria at Fredericksburg National Cemetery. This year, there’ll be an extra light shining at the event: ECW’s Don Pfanz.
Don is the author of Where Valor Proudly Sleeps: A History of Fredericksburg National Cemetery, 1866-1933, part of ECW’s “Engaging Civil War” Series, published in partnership with Southern Illinois University Press.
Don will be signing copies of his book on Saturday, May 26, at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center Bookstore from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., immediately preceding the annual luminaria. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
Don, a former historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, spent decades researching the cemetery’s history. He’s the man when it comes to the cemetery, and his book is the definitive account. It also offers a good overview of the creation of the entire National Cemetery system.
Here are some details about Valor:
Many books discuss in great detail what happened during Civil War battles. This is one of the few that investigate what happened to the remains of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Where Valor Proudly Sleeps explores a battle’s immediate and long-term aftermath by focusing on Fredericksburg National Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries created by the U.S. government after the Civil War. Pfanz shows how legislation created the National Cemetery System and describes how the Burial Corps identified, collected, and interred soldier remains as well as how veterans, their wives, and their children also came to rest in national cemeteries. By sharing the stories of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery, its workers, and those buried there, Pfanz explains how the cemetery evolved into its current form, a place of beauty and reflection.
This book signing is hosted by Eastern National, a partner in supporting the interpretive, educational and scientific programs of the National Park Service. The bookstore is located behind the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center at 1013 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. For more information, please call 540-693-3200 x 1100.