Oct. 19, 1864 — 155 years ago, the last and largest Civil War battle in the Shenandoah Valley was held on the original battlegrounds in Middletown, Virginia. General Jubal Early of the Confederates launched a surprise attack on the Union Army and pushed three corps from their positions. Union General Phil Sheridan arrived and counterattacked, driving the Confederates back. This battle helped Abraham Lincoln win reelection in November 1964.
Watch a video of the Battle of Cedar Creek Reenactment by Chester Simpson:
From the Program:
The thousands of men, women, and children seen in the camps and on the field have chosen a hobby that recreates the life of the Civil War soldier for the purpose of preserving the memory of the sacrifices paid by Americans in their conflict over unity during the years 1861 – 1865. The Confederates and Union reenacts are organized into units and battalions with officers and enlisted men.
A soldier starts as a private, and through time and action in “battles”, may advance in rank. The hobby is expensive (a private’s uniform, musket, and tent costs $1,000). Cavalrymen on horses, canons and muskets loaded with black-powder, open campfires and rocky grounds are only a few of the hazards facing the modern-day soldier during the event. Many of the reenacts return year after year to this hallowed ground to recognize and honor those who fought and toiled here 155 years ago.
All money raised from the Cedar Creek Reenactment over the past 30 years has been the major source of funding for the preservation of 348 acres of the Cedar Creek Battlefield. The CCBF gratefully acknowledges the reenactor’s contribution and commitment to the preservation of our heritage.
Here are some photos of the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek Reenactment. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Chester Simpson.