History Brought to Life During the Manassas Civil War Weekend

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Provided by the City of Manassas

City of Manassas, VA . . . There was much more to the Civil War than bloody battles, endless strategizing, and famous generals. This year, in addition to featuring portrayals of well-known generals and studies of tactics, the fourth annual Manassas Civil War Weekend will also bring to life the experiences of women on both the home front and in the conflict.

The weekend’s free events, from August 21-23, will engage visitors of all ages and interests with the sights, sounds and scents of Civil War-era Manassas. Speakers and performers will reveal many stories about the stark realities of war.

The weekend begins with a keynote address by well-known Civil War re-enactor Al Stone, who has been portraying General Robert E. Lee for more than 20 years to nationwide audiences. Stone will portray Lee in his reflective post-war years, when he became president of what was then called Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, later renamed Washington & Lee University. His address begins on Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. on the Manassas Museum lawn.

Many speakers throughout the weekend will focus on the war’s military experience. Richard Killblane, the Unites States Army Transportation Historian and author of The Filthy Thirteen, will talk about the logistics of the war. Re-enactors will portray General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Philip T. Sheridan, General Jubal Early, General John B. Gordan, Major Jed Hotchkiss, and General Samuel Cooper. Earl McElfresh, author of Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War will speak about maps during the Civil War.

To lend a different perspective on the war experience, living historians will also portray Clara Barton, the famous Civil War nurse; Dorothea Dix, an American activist who created the first American mental asylums; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante; the wives of Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Isaac Trimble; and Barbara Smith and Hendrina Appelt, who will talk about the role of women in the war.

Tracey McIntire and Dr. Audrey Scanlan-Teller will speak about the experiences of more than four hundred women who disguised themselves as men and served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. They will speak not only about individual soldiers, but about gender roles and military culture during the era.

Inside the museum, join museum curator Mary Helen Dellinger for Chats with the Curator that will highlight unusual items in the collection. Prince William County Historic Site Operations Supervisor Rob Orrison will speak about the joint city-county exhibit,New World Aristocracy: The Carters of Virginia, and guest curator Chesney Rhodes will speak about her exhibit, Partisans Among Playmates: American Childhood and the Civil War.

At nearby Liberia Plantation, 8601 Portner Ave., stroll the shade-filled grounds and hear the accounts of well-known Confederate Spy Rose Greenhow, portrayed by Emily Lapisardi.  A living historian who has presented historical impersonations in nine states and the District of Columbia, Lapisardi will tell the stories of Liberia’s connection to Civil War spy rings and Greenhow’s ability to glean information from Union admirers.

Interpreter Marion Dobbins will bring to life a more local slave experience as she presents a portrayal of slave life at Liberia, once the largest slave-holding plantation in the area. Dobbins will also cook over an open fire, and talk about African-American “foodways” and culture.

Check www.manassasmuseum.org for the weekend’s latest schedule.

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