New Market to host battle reenactment weekend

Zane Smith, 34, of Baltimore, a member of the 18th Virginia Calvary, checks his Civil War Enfield rifle outside his tent at New Market Battlefield Park during last year's event.  The annual New Market Battle Reenactment is this  weekend. Rich Cooley/Daily file photo

Zane Smith, 34, of Baltimore, a member of the 18th Virginia Calvary, checks his Civil War Enfield rifle outside his tent at New Market Battlefield Park during last year's event. The annual New Market Battle Reenactment is this weekend. Rich Cooley/Daily file photo

 

Rain or shine, reenactors will be flooding the New Market battlefield this weekend to commemorate the 152nd year of the Battle of New Market.

Tammy Oden, visitor services supervisor at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, said the museum is expecting more than 700 reenactors with around 80 horses and 20 cannons for this year’s event.

A special Director’s Battlefield Tour led by Troy Marshall, site director, will take up to 50 pre-registered visitors on an informational trip around the grounds this afternoon.

As early as 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, visitors can visit the Bushong Farm to observe camp life living history. On Saturday, they can catch either an artillery demonstration at the spectator area or a lecture on the battle from the museum benches. On Sunday, 10 a.m. church services will be held in the activities tent.

The main attractions are the reenactments. Visitors can observe a tactical battle at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and the Battle of New Market itself will start off at 2 p.m. Sunday, 152 years after the historical event to the date.

Oden said pets will not be allowed on the grounds during the reenactment for safety reasons. Although the reenactments will occur no matter the weather and there’ll be no cover offered for spectators, she said they can always take shelter underneath vendor tents or inside the museum itself, since tickets include museum admission.

“We keep the battlefield as true as possible, so we don’t put structures on it,” she said.

The Women’s Memorial Society will hold a service at the Confederate Monument in St. Matthew’s Cemetery on Sunday in honor of its 149th anniversary year. Poems, songs and flowers will honor Confederate soldiers and VMI cadets who died during the New Market battle. The service will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday.

IF YOU GO:

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Battles will occur at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, 8895 George Collins Parkway in New Market.

Cost: Tickets are $10 per day, with children 9 years old or younger and New Market residents with proof of residency admitted free.

Information: http://tinyurl.com/gslckgz.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com

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