ECW Weekender: Cedar Mountain Battlefield’s Annual Commemoration

The Battle of Cedar Mountain occurred on August 9, 1862, when Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson battled Union General Nathaniel Banks a few miles south of the town of the Culpeper. The five hour conflict pitted four Union brigades against three Confederate divisions, resulting in a Confederate victory when General A.P. Hill reformed his men and directed a decisive charge. By the end of the fight, approximately 3,800 soldiers lay dead or wounded, bringing the realities of war to the county.

The Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield organize preservation and education efforts to ensure that this battle’s location and history is not forgotten. They seek to honor the courage and sacrifices on both sides and mark the weekend closest to the battle anniversary with a special event and ceremony.

Always hosted on the second weekend of August, this free commemoration event offers living history and a chance to explore the battleground with immersive experiences. Family-friendly and free, the weekend offers a closer look at life during the Civil War period and focuses on the conflict in Culpeper County Virginia.

The schedule of events from the Friends’ website lists these happenings for the weekend:

Saturday, August 10

11:00 am Opening shot, followed by infantry and artillery demonstration

1:00 pm School of the soldier. Open to the public, this session offers the opportunity to experience the life of a Civil War soldier by participating in basic drill and instruction; working with the infantry and learning how to handle a musket; learning how to march, drill and fight; and even serving on a gun crew.

3:00 pm Infantry and artillery demonstration

5:00 pm Camp life

7:00 pm Ancestors’ Ceremony presented by Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. A recognition of the fallen at Cedar Mountain whose names have been submitted to the Friends of Cedar Mountain Ancestors Roll by their descendants.

8:00 pm Torchlight tours of the camps and battlefield. ($5/adult, students free; fee supports battlefield preservation efforts)

Union battery in action at Cedar Mountain (Library of Congress)

Sunday, August 11

10:00 am Infantry and artillery demonstration

12:00 pm School of the soldier.

Wondering how to attend and get to the event? It’s held at Cedar Mountain Battlefield (along James Madison Highway/Route 15 south of Culpeper at 9465 General Winder Road). However, parking will be available at the George Washington Carver Center, located at 9433 James Madison Highway/Route 15 near the battlefield. Shuttle buses will transport visitors every 15 minutes.

Questions about the event?

Contact Friends of Cedar Mountain at:

Or visit their website:

A view of Cedar Mountain

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