Civil War living history weekend is Jan. 12-14
A Civil War weekend with encampments and living history events will mark the 145th anniversary of the January, 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign. An eight-mile preservation march from Unger's Store to Ambrose Chapel along the original route of General Stonewall Jackson's army's advance is also planned.
Friday, January 12 events include a driving tour of Civil War sites from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is open to reenactors and the public. Living history activities will also take place that evening at Oakleigh Manor at Unger's Crossroads from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a Civil War encampment afterwards. Jackson's headquarters were at Unger's Crossroads.
Saturday, Jan. 13 events
On Saturday, January 13, living history events are set for Unger's Crossroads from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Participants will then march four miles to Stockey's Tavern.
A public graveside ceremony for Private William Henry Harrison Lowe of the 1st Georgia Infantry will occur between 1 and 2 p.m. at Oakland Cemetery. Lowe is the only Bath-Romney Campaign casualty whose burial site can be documented along the route of the campaign.
A four-mile march to Ambrose Chapel is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a ceremony for Union soldiers and an encampment there that evening. Ambrose Chapel was used as a field hospital during the 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign.
Living history at state park
A living history event will take place on Sunday, January 14 at Berkeley Springs State Park from 12 noon until 4 p.m. General Jackson's Stonewall Brigade was housed in the Strother hotel and several bathhouses in the Bath town square during the campaign.
The 145th anniversary of the Bath-Romney Campaign events will go on as planned no matter what the weather is like, unless there's a major blizzard, said Robert Ambrose, a member of the 5th Virginia Company K and one of the event organizers.
Soldiers endured harsh weather, blinding snow, sleet, freezing rain, extreme cold and chilling winds during the 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign. The purpose of the living history weekend is to raise awareness of the hardships that both sides went through during the campaign, he said.
Some 50 Civil War reenactors have expressed interest in the 145th anniversary of the 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign events, said Ambrose. He hopes that at least 20 reenactors will participate in the weekend's events.
The 5th Virginia Company K is a group of area Civil War reenactors based in Morgan County that has been commemorating the Bath-Romney Campaign for the past several years with encampments, marches and gravesite ceremonies. In January, 2005, they dedicated a new headstone for Private Lowe.
There are stories and lore of other soldiers being buried along the campaign route, but there is no hard evidence of it, said Ambrose. Lowe is symbolic of every man, a soldier dying 500 miles away from his home of northeastern Georgia at age 19, he said.
"When we honor him, we honor all veterans. He gave the supreme sacrifice," said Ambrose.
Members of the 9th Virginia Company had also begun commemorative activities such as driving tours, winter encampments and picket posts. In 2006, the two Virginia reenactor groups combined their commemorations and their mission and formed The 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign Historical and Preservation Association.
Their goals are continuing research into the 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign, preserving the area's Civil War heritage, planning and creating future campaign events, educating the public through living history events and public forums, documenting and preserving historical structures, sites and artifacts, assisting in interpreting those historical locations and objects and drafting and erecting historical markers.
All funds raised from reenactors' participation in the Saturday, January 13 preservation march will go toward organizational start-up, future Bath-Romney Campaign events, the preservation of historical sites and the creation of historical markers.
The group hopes to raise awareness about the Bath-Romney Campaign and build to a large-scale 150th anniversary reenactment in 2012.
For more information about the January 12-14 Civil War living history weekend or the 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign Historical and Preservation Association, contact the group by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 1862 Bath-Romney Historical and Preservation Association has information about their organization and the living history weekend at their website at www.geocities.com /bathromneycampaign.