Letter: Civil War Heritage Day: Thanks to all

By all accounts we had a very successful Rappahannock County Civil War Heritage Day last Saturday. The weather was gorgeous and lots of folks attended. Kids of all ages enjoyed the Youth Boot Camps where they got a gentle dose of Civil War-style training using wooden muskets.

Rudy Segaar holds a Napoleonic-era musket as he explains Civil War field tactics, after which he led his men in a firing demonstration that delighted the gathered crowd. Photo by Matt Wingfield.
Rudy Segaar holds a Napoleonic-era musket as he explains Civil War field tactics, after which he led his men in a firing demonstration that delighted the gathered crowd. Photo by Matt Wingfield.

Carpenter’s Battery was there to loudly announce the event. Delightful period music was provided throughout the day by the Shenandoah Valley Minstrels accompanied by the South Fork dancers. Col. Mosby (Jimmy Flemming) and his riders were charging on their steeds while gallantly swinging their sabers. The infantry reenactors provided musketry drills and firing demonstrations throughout the day.

A very special treat was the appearance and talk by Ron Maxwell, local resident and Hollywood screenwriter and director of several Civil War-era movies. Another local resident, Art Candenquist, also spoke about the war in this area. Danny Huff sold food with the proceeds going to the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue. And Gen. Robert E. Lee (Tex Wells) and Union Gen. John Pope (Neal West) were there to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in our county.

Robert Yowell (left) and Damian Geer demonstrate proper formation and rifle techniques to eager young soldiers at the Civil War Heritage Day. Photo by Matt Wingfield.
Robert Yowell (left) and Damian Geer demonstrate proper formation and rifle techniques to eager young soldiers at the Civil War Heritage Day. Photo by Matt Wingfield.

Special thanks to the committee members who helped put this event together: committee chair Angela Deavers, Laura Overstreet, Jim Massie, Sam Foreback, Brian Taylor, Robert Yowell, Ron Frazier, Art Candenquist, Tom Taylor and David Yowell. Lions Club volunteers Jim Blubaugh and Jim Manwaring are thanked for their help in parking control. We thank the Williams Tree Service for their donation of firewood. Very special thanks to John McCarthy, the county administrator, for making it all possible and by promoting and supporting this event.

Other county employees who made it possible were Sandra Maskas, the Visitors Center manager, who greatly helped with support at the center as well as spending some of her free time to open the site for evening planning meetings. Kudos to Laura Overstreet, the county’s tourism consultant, who expertly coordinated the publicity, and spent many hours of her own time assisting, and Kim Bealle of D&K Design, responsible for the excellent marketing materials and website.

Cavalry members (from left) Amanda Frazier and Ron Frazier (7th Va. Cav, Co A), Jimmy Fleming as Col. Mosby, Ted Landrum and Pam Landrum (10th Va. Cav.) corral their horses long enough for a quick picture. Photo by Matt Wingfield.
Cavalry members (from left) Amanda Frazier and Ron Frazier (7th Va. Cav, Co A), Jimmy Fleming as Col. Mosby, Ted Landrum and Pam Landrum (10th Va. Cav.) corral their horses long enough for a quick picture. Photo by Matt Wingfield.

We cannot thank enough the next-door property owner Stan Skowronski, who in large measure permitted the event to take place next to the Visitors Center, and his tenant John Critzer, who spent considerable time clearing the property. A truly great combined Rappahannock County effort with the wonderful county Farm Tour.

Rudy Segaar
Event coordinator
Rappahannock County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee

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