Cedar Creek announces new summer programs

MIDDLETOWN — This summer, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown will be giving visitors a more in-depth look into one of the valley’s more critical Civil War battles.

The programming will be highlighted in a new “Battlefield Series,” which was created following public response to similar events for the Civil War sesquicentennial.

For that anniversary, Park Interpretive Ranger Kyle Rothemich noted, “We put together a lot of special programs on the battle, more specific programs, as opposed to an overview.”

Rothemich added, “The public loved it, and really liked doing those in-depth tours.”

The programming will begin next Saturday, June 13, and run through until Aug. 16.

“Every Saturday throughout the summer, we’ll be looking at very specific aspects of the Battle of Cedar Creek,” Rothemich said, adding that this largely consists of aspects that the park has not previously explored.

Next Saturday’s program will look at the role of a brigade of around 1,000 Union soldiers during the conflict. Rothemich said this brigade was dedicated in the 8th Vermont Monument on the park grounds.

Another program, with the date to be announced, will feature the topic of archeological research for the Civil War led by park volunteer Marcus LeMasters.

Rothemich said this event will be a first for the park, as LeMasters will be taking visitors to archeological sites that he has personally worked on.

“We will be looking at how archeologists learn about Civil War battlefields and how they can help interpretation at parks and … how they find things,” Rothemich said.

Rothemich said he will be leading a program in July that will focus on the role of Union Gen. George Custer, which he added will be mostly a driving tour of the battlefield.

“Some of the tours will be driving tours, others will be walking tours and some will be a combination of both,” Rothemich said, noting that next Saturday’s program will involve hiking in the woods surrounding the park.

Although the series programming is scheduled to end Aug. 16, Rothemich said the park is hoping to run programming up to the October anniversary of the battle.

At the same time, Rothemich indicated that this summer’s series will compliment the park’s regular interpretive programming. The park will also begin offering its daily events for the season on June 13.

Programming for the “Battlefield Series” will take place each Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

More information on the as well as its regular interpretive programming can be found at: http://1.usa.gov/1APBlEd.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com