This weekend marks the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek. The town of Middletown, Belle Grove Plantation and Cedar Creek, and Belle Grove National Historical Park are continuing the annual tradition of educating people about the historic Civil War battle.
Events will begin at 11:30 a.m. today with a program on the battle at Belle Grove Plantation, followed by a 1 p.m. tour of the battlefield located north of Middletown along U.S. Route 11.
On Saturday and Sunday, Belle Grove will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for living history re-enactments, house tours and ranger programs. Some of the events will include demonstrations from the 10th Virginia Volunteer Infantry throughout the weekend, and musician John Tole will perform live Civil War era music on Sunday.
Middletown will host a walking tour of First and Main streets at 5 p.m. Saturday, culminating at 7 p.m. with the lighting of luminaries to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the battle. Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh said that it’s one of the highlights of the weekend.
“It’s our chance to honor both sides of the conflict,“ Harbaugh said. “We will get to see local citizens lighting candles alongside local law enforcement and people from out of the area. It’s going to be a special time.”
In years past, the anniversary has drawn thousands of people to participate in and view battle re-enactments at the battlefield. The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation canceled the re-enactment after a suspicious device was discovered on the property last year.
Despite the loss of one of the bigger events of the weekend, Harbaugh said that there’s still enthusiasm for remembering the anniversary.
“People have been posting on Facebook and talking about how excited they are for this weekend,” Harbaugh said. “Everybody is still excited for this.”
- National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/cebe/planyourvisit/154th-battle-of-cedar-creek-events.htm
- Belle Grove Plantation: http://bellegrove.org/calendar/cedar_creek_commemoration
- Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation: http://www.ccbf.us