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History Calendar for week of Dec. 4, 2012

December 4, 2012 12:10 am


Have yourself a 19th-century Christmas at Ellwood Manor on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Please enter information online at Select "History" category. You may also email
Email: (subject: History Calendar), or fax 540/373-8455. Deadline: noon Thursday preceding Tuesday publication. 540/374-5461.

A Nation Remembers: Battle of Fredericksburg 150th anniversary special events. Friday, Dec. 7, to Saturday, Dec. 15. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park hosts special, ranger-led walks Dec. 7-9; evening talks Friday and Saturday at historic churches; simulated shelling of town on Sunday; 1-3 p.m. Sunday procession by participants, some carrying roses, from Rappahannock River to Hurkamp Park to Sunken Road, with a "culminating event" at the park's Kirkland Monument; "real-time" tours Dec. 11-13; rare visits to Belvoir and Franklin's Crossing in Spotsylvania County on Saturday, Dec. 15, with a "City of Hospitals" tour starting in Market Square at 3:30 that afternoon. Download program at

Fire on the Rappahannock. 1,200 military re-enactors to stage two battle scenarios on Saturday, Dec. 8: 10 a.m. Union army pontoon-bridge crossing of Rappahannock River at City Dock, assault up Rocky Lane and Lower Caroline Street, and fighting at Riverfront Park; at 2 p.m., the Irish Brigade's assault on Confederate forces at Marye's Heights, at UMW's Trench Hill, Hanover Street and Sunken Road. Visit Union camps at Ferry Farm in Stafford and Confederate camps at Slaughter Pen Farm on Routes 2/17 in Spotsylvania. On Sunday, period church service at Slaughter Pen, living history at Ferry Farm, field hospital at Brompton and 1-3 p.m. hallowed-ground processional. Details: fredericksburg and

Tour the 18-wheel, interactive, multimedia Virginia Civil War 150 HistoryMobile on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7-9. On Friday, the HistoryMobile will be at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Lafayette Blvd. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be at Chatham Manor, 120 Chatham Lane in southern Stafford County, on the heights occupied by the Union army during the Battle of Fredericksburg a century and a half ago. The HistoryMobile will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free. Details at For more on Civil War sesquicentennial events, see

Santa in The Museum Store. 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. Celebrate the season and get your picture taken with Santa from 6 to 8 p.m. Store carries crafts, decorative accessories, books, textiles and toys that relate to the museum's collection or the history or culture of the Fredericksburg region. Metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and fine art by local artists, books by local authors for both children and adults.

Selected Pieces from the Larry D. Silver Art Collection. Through Jan. 31 at Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, Mansard Gallery. As Fredericksburg reflects on its roles it has played in our nation's history, native son Larry Silver shares part of his unprecedented collection of historical paintings. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, public is invited to meet several of the artists who created works in Silver's collection. Prints, giclees and commemorative posters will be available for purchase, with part of proceeds donated to the museum. Museum open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Questions? Call Ellen Killough at 540/371-3037, ext. 134, or visit

Holiday Open House at Graffiti House. 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Brandy Station Foundation hosts a festive get-together at its historic visitors center, 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station, in Culpeper County. Civil War graffiti, holiday fare and a Victorian Santa Claus. Free. Gift shop open.

"George Armstrong Custer." Monday, Dec. 10. Historian Daniel Davis will illuminate life and career of the famed cavalry commander, who fought and honeymooned in Central Virginia during the Civil War. Davis will address the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table. Brock's Riverside Grille, 503 Sophia St. Social 6 p.m., dinner 6:45 p.m., program 7:30 p.m. Dinner reservations at 3dognight@bigplan Website:

Evening With an Expert Lecture Series. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11. Francis A. O'Reilly, historian with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, presents a "War Comes to Fredericksburg" talk about 150th anniversary of battle. Explores perspectives of soldiers, witnesses. Concludes Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center series, "Battle Town: Fredericksburg and the Civil War." Free, public invited. Mansard Gallery, Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. Members-only reception to follow. Tramia Jackson,
Email: or 540/371-3037, ext. 140;

Converse and dine with Krick, Gallagher and Bearss for Battle of Fredericksburg's 150th. 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, based in Fredericksburg, offers memorable event on 150th anniversary of Battle of Fredericksburg. Authors and historians Robert K. Krick and Gary W. Gallagher will discuss the battle and its aftermath. Battlefield preservationist Ed Bearss, chief historian emeritus of the National Park service, will sign his book "Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg--The Campaigns That Changed the Civil War." Krick will focus on Fredericksburg under "War's Savage Heel: The Plight of the City's Civilians." Gallagher's lecture is "Confederates Respond to the Battle of Fredericksburg." Fredericksburg Hospitality House, 2801 Plank Road in Central Park. Includes buffet dinner and cash bar. Seating limited, reserve now. $50 per person. CVBT, Box 3417, Fredericksburg, Va. 22402. 540/374-0900; exec
CVBT block of rooms, call 540/786-8321. Ground floor is "pet friendly."

"A 19th-Century Christmas at Ellwood Manor." On Saturday, Dec. 15, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield will host its fourth annual holiday event at the plantation home, decorated for the Christmas season by the Fawn Lake Garden Club, on the Orange-Spotsylvania line. Doors open at 9 a.m., close at 2 p.m. FoWB's volunteer interpreters will welcome visitors. Santa will be in the house 9-11 a.m. Children are invited to join in making seasonal arts and crafts. Cookies and punch will be served. House tours 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Period Christmas music by Evergreen Shade. Civil War soldiers' Christmas letters will be read every half hour beginning at 11:30. Free. Donations are always welcome. Questions? Visit or contact Carolyn Elstner at
Email: or 540/373-6240 or Zann Nelson at or 540/547-2395.

Book signing to benefit Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Volume 11 of the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust's journal, Fredericksburg History and Biography, has just been published. The publication will be available for purchase at Eileen's Bakery and Cafe, 1115 Caroline St. in Fredericksburg. Authors will be present to sign copies and back issues will be available. The journal makes a perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas, and sales help support battlefield preservation.

"Picturing the Civil War." Sesquicentennial exhibition at Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center explores depictions of Civil War and aftermath in Fredericksburg, through period photography, paintings from private holdings, museum collections. Documents Gallery of Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. Through Dec. 31. Funded by grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services.; 540/371-3037; admission fee. Discount to military, seniors, students. Free to museum members.

"We Can Never Go Back." Signature show of Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center for statewide celebration of Civil War sesquicentennial. At Fredericksburg's Old Town Hall/Market House, the museum partnered with National Park Service to create vignettes that help tell stories of Fredericksburg's residents during four years of war;

Community Artist Series: Fiber Art. Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center's Mansard Gallery displaying local fiber artists' work. Quilt National, on loan from Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, Ohio, open in Council Chamber.


Christmas Decorations Walking Tour: Colonial Williamsburg; tours at 9:15 and 11 a.m., and 1:30 and 3:15 p.m. daily through Dec. 30, except Dec. 4 and 25. (No 3:15 p.m. tours Dec. 4 and no 9:15 a.m. or 3:15 p.m. tours Dec. 25.) Admission $10 with a Colonial Williamsburg pass.

Holiday decorating. Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg host three programs at 1:45 p.m. Wednesdays and 10:30 a.m. Fridays through Dec. 28. "The Art-Full Tree" includes tour of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum with book author.

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