New Market re-enactment getting special treatment

Event even more momentous as ’09 marks 150th anniversary of Civil War

By Preston Knight —

NEW MARKET — After 145 years, the New Market Battlefield anniversary is getting opening act treatment.


The annual re-enactment weekend, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, should serve as a way to get people excited about the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, said Scott Harris, director of the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park. As the war’s sesquicentennial approaches, he said, a major goal is promoting interest in Civil War heritage and tourism. New Market has the chance to do that, Harris said.

"Years that end in five or zero always seem to attract more people anyway," he said.

On Saturday, living history presentations are planned throughout the day. The Stonewall Brigade Band of Staunton will perform at noon and, at 2 p.m., there will be a tactical battle re-enactment.

Since Saturday’s battle does not follow along with what occurred 145 years ago, participants have the opportunity to do something different. This year, spectators will be positioned behind the Confederate troops and able to see the Union forces coming upon them, Harris said.

"There was a desire to do something a little different," he said. "We hope it will be interesting."

On Sunday, a 10:30 a.m. Civil War-era church service and living history programs are planned before the re-enactment itself occurs at 1:30 p.m.

One-day tickets for the re-enactment are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-17. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. All tickets are sold at the gate, and New Market residents are admitted free with proof of a local mailing address. Camps open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. both days.

Harris said gas prices are lower this year than for re-enactment weekend last year, and that should help with drawing favorable numbers.

"We hope people appreciate an informative and entertaining event in their backyard," he said.

The Women’s Memorial Society, meanwhile, will hold its commemorative ceremony Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Cemetery behind Reformation Lutheran Church, according to a press release. A memorial wreath will be placed in remembrance of the southern soldiers who died at New Market, including 10 Virginia Military Institute cadets. Filmmaker Wayne Bronson, who produced the recent documentary about U.S. 11, will be the guest speaker.

For more information on the society’s event, call Cindy Crim at 740-4088. For additional re-enactment information, call the park at 740-3101 or visit

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