In previous posts on the development of living history programs at the park (found here, here, and here), I was remiss in not acknowledging a
couple programs were are offering as part of this summer’s schedule. These first-person programs are delivered by members of the park staff, donning 19th century attire, and highlight the stories of Fredericksburg area’s wartime residents.
Katie Logothetis, a veteran member of the park’s summer staff, is spending her weekends in a 19th century dress and providing dramatic presentations along Sunken Road on the Fredericksburg Battlefield. Katie’s persona for her programs is Mary Caldwell, a young woman who lived in Fredericksburg and maintained a diary, thus recording her observations and personal thoughts. Mary’s diary recently came to light and is currently being edited with an eye toward possible publication. The setting for visitors encountering “Mary” is 1866 and she is walking along Sunken Road on her way home. As she engages the public, she reminds them that before Fredericksburg became a battlefield it was a home for its residents, a home nearly destroyed by war. Katie conveys the experiences of those left to the mercy of the opposing armies during the summer 1862 occupation, the bombardment and battle of December 1862, and the resultant destruction. These experiences draw primarily from Mary Caldwell’s writings, but are supplemented by surviving accounts penned by several other Fredericksburg female residents – Lizzie Alsop, Betty Maury, Jane Beale, Fanny Bernard, Mamie Wells, and Fanny White. These personal stories have been combined to create a story that presents the broad aspect of Fredericksburg female refugees, as presented through Katie’s character of Mary Caldwell.
Katie, as Mary Caldwell, can be found on weekends this summer along Sunken Road.
“Driven” From Home: A Refugee From Fredericksburg Remembers” – 15-minute presentation; Saturdays and Sundays only at 11:15, 12:15, 2:15, and 3:15
Richard Chapman, another veteran member of the park’s seasonal staff, is also providing some dramatic presentations this summer. On the weekend of June 25-26, Richard can be found at the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center. He will present programs as David Kyle, a Confederate soldier who grew up on the Bullock Farm just a short distance from the visitor center. Due to his knowledge of the local roads, David was selected to accompany Stonewall Jackson and his staff on the general’s fateful reconnaissance on the night of May 2, 1863. David later wrote about his experience that night. Richard’s presents David Kyle as a veteran of the war, returning to the battlefield later in life, who describes for visitors what he saw and heard, while accompanying Jackson on his final ride. This presentation has been part of the park’s regular summer program in the past, but this summer it is only being offered during our “Chancellorsville Focus Weekends,” June 25-26 and July 30-31.
Richard, as David Kyle, can be found at the Chancellorsville Visitor Center.
“Eyewitness to History: The David Kyle Story” – 50-minute presentations; June 25 and July 30 at 12;25, 2:25, and 4:25; June 26 and July 31 at 10:25, 12:25, and 2:25
For these and other programs at the park, check our 2011 Summer Schedule and Special Events pages on the park’s website.
Eric J. Mink
3 thoughts on “Bringing the Stories of Fredericksburg Area Residents to Life: 2011 Summer Programs”
I want to come and see this program so badly, it looks like a very impressive and ingenious way to portray a very interesting story from the civil war era.
I’m really sorry I missed Richard’s program this past weekend, but I will make sure to get over to the Sunken Road some weekend before the season closes. Both look like wonderful programs by dedicated staff members. Nice to see them offered.
John – I erred and forgot to add the weekend of July 30 and 31 as another opportunity to catch “David Kyle” at Chancellorsville. The addition has been made.