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160th anniversary of Battle of Cedar Mountain this weekend

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At the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County on Aug. 9, 1862, Confederate troops led by Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson prevailed over Federal troops led by Gen. Nathaniel Banks at a cost of 3,800 men killed or wounded, according to the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield.

In commemoration of the battle’s 160th anniversary, the Friends will host anniversary events 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. The battlefield is along U.S. 15 south of the town of Culpeper.

Visitors of all ages are welcome to enjoy a variety of activities that will bring to life the experiences of soldiers and civilians impacted by the battle, according to event publicity.

The event has expanded this year to include a battle reenactment each day.

“We’re grateful to the more than 300 reenactors who are supporting this exciting feature for the 160th anniversary,” said Diane Logan, president of Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. “With participating infantry and three artillery groups, visitors can expect the battle reenactments to be thrilling.”

Among highlights, the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Band will perform Civil War-era music throughout the weekend.

A combined arms demonstration of Civil War weaponry, the school of the soldier will offer opportunity to participate in basic drill and instruction, work with infantry and learn how to handle a musket, how to march, drill and fight and even serve on a gun crew.

Military encampments representing Union and Confederate forces will be open for visitors to learn about the life of a soldier.

Living historians will share the stories of civilians impacted by the war.

Hands-on learning experiences for kids will include trying on soldiers’ uniforms and equipment and period civilian attire. Artifacts to explore include shell fragments, bullets and old maps and photographs of Cedar Mountain.

Photographer Robert Szabo, nationally recognized for his expertise with 19th-century wet-plate collodion photography, will demonstrate how to prepare glass plates for use in his old-style camera and develop glass-plate negatives on site.

During the Civil War, Culpeper County was one of the conflict’s most photographed settings.

Visitors will see demonstrations of signal flags and learn how messages were coded, sent and decoded. Another station will offer the opportunity to learn about the role of cavalry in the battle.

A Memorial Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7, will recognize the fallen at Cedar Mountain whose names have been submitted to the FCMB Ancestors Roll by their descendants.

See the schedule at friendsofcedarmountain.org/annual-event.

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