Fredericksburg National Cemetery

National Park Service Announces 2016 History at Sunset Schedule

by | May 26, 2016 | Events

Fredericksburg National Cemetery photo copyright Fredericksburg Today.

The National Park Service’s 15th annual History at Sunset 10-part series will feature eight programs never presented before. In recognition of the Centennial of the National Park Service, four programs will focus on the evolution of the park, including the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the creation of the National Cemetery, and more recent efforts to connect visitors to the places and stories of the park.

This series kicks off June 10, with a program at Stafford Civil War Park that will explore that site and the Union Army of the Potomac’s Winter Encampment in Stafford County in 1862-1863. The Stafford Civil War Park includes the only formally preserved physical remnants of the winter encampment, including the hut holes, earthworks, and roads left behind by the armies.

Historian Beth Parnicza’s program on June 24, 2016, “A Modern Battlefield: Mission 66 at Chancellorsville” will explore how the National Park Service has evolved in its efforts to preserve, protect, and interpret America’s historic, cultural, and natural resources by examining the Park Service’s initiative in the 1950s and 60s to modernize and improve park infrastructure.

Historians John Hennessy and Becky Oakes will present “A Place for the Living and the Dead: Creation of the National Cemetery” on July 1. This year marks the sesquicentennial of the creation of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery, and this program will explore how the United States War Department organized a special Burial Corps to find, exhume, and re-inter Union Civil War dead in this area and the creation and construction of their final resting place.

Following is the complete 2016 schedule. The programs begin at 7 p.m., and will run approximately 90 minutes.

Visitors are advised to be prepared for walking trails and fields—so wear sturdy shoes, and bring water and bug repellant. Visitors should also bring a small flashlight for use in the low-light conditions at the end of each program.

History at Sunset 2016
June 10: John Hennessy: Hut Holes and Bastions: Stafford’s Winter Encampment. Meet at Stafford County Civil War Park, 400 Mt. Hope Church Road, Stafford, VA 22554. Bring a lawn chair.

June 17: Frank O’Reilly & Pete Maugle: Into the Woods: Chancellorsville’s Tangled Nightmare. Meet at Hazel Grove, Tour Stop 9, Chancellorsville Battlefield.

June 24: Beth Parnicza: A “Modern Battlefield”: Mission 66 at Chancellorsville. Meet at Chancellorsville Visitor Center, 9001 Plank Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553

July 1: John Hennessy & Becky Oakes: A Place for the Living and the Dead: Creation of the National Cemetery (Please note that pets are not permitted in the Cemetery). Meet at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Lafayette Boulevard, 22401

July 8: Greg Mertz & Mike Westermeier: “Terrible Yet Exciting”: Heth’s Salient at Spotsylvania. Meet at Tour Stop 7, Burnside Drive, Spotsylvania Battlefield.

July 15: John Hennessy: Falmouth: The Rappahannock, War, and Freedom. Meet at the former Grizzle Center, 60 Butler Road, Falmouth, 22405.

July 22: Frank O’Reilly: Battle in the Balance: Early’s Counterattack at Fredericksburg. Meet at Prospect Hill, Tour Stop 6, end of South Lee Drive, Fredericksburg Battlefield.

July 29: Becky Oakes & Eric Mink: Old War, New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps at Spotsylvania.  Meet at the McCoull house site, Tour Stop 5, Spotsylvania Battlefield.

August 5: John Hennessy: A New Look: Chatham’s Evolving Historic Landscape. Chatham Manor, 120 Chatham Lane, Fredericksburg 22405

August 12: Eric Mink: Rediscovering History: the Rehabilitating Sunken Road. Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Lafayette Boulevard, Fredericksburg, 22401

For additional information, call (540) 693-3200, or check www.nps.gov/frsp.

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields National Military Park was once the bloodiest landscape in North America. Two major Civil War armies clashed in and around Fredericksburg in four pivotal battles within an 18-month span, resulting in 100,000 casualties. The park is the second largest military park in the world, and covers four major battlefields and five historic structures. Staff work year round to ensure that this important historic and cultural resource is preserved, protected, and interpreted for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Share This