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2019 Central Virginia Battlefield Trust Annual Conference
Posted on: 01/10/19
Opening of the Overland Campaign - 155th Anniversary

April 5 - 7, 2019


Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield Bus Tour
presented by Gordan C. Rhea
8:30AM - 4:30PM

Practicing attorney and an avid student of the 1864 Overland Campaign Gordan C. Rhea will lead a bus tour of the Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield. On May 7th, 1864, Grant left the Wilderness with the decision to follow Lee. Lee suffered severe casualties in the Wilderness and had to prepare for a defensive battle in Spotsylvania. Grant, who had determined to destroy Lee’s army, had to solve Lee’s formattable defensive earthworks. May 12th noted 17,000 combined casualties on this day alone. The CVBT has recently purchased two properties on this battlefield, Union 5th Corps Tract and Myer’s Hill, (Note Myer’s Hill is not included in this tour but a separate tour offered on Sunday), both adding to the understanding of this battle and subsequent maneuvers. Award winning author and historian Gordon C Rhea will follow the army’s maneuvers from the Wilderness to the end of the Spotsylvania battle including the bloody Union assault at what is known as the Bloody Angle. Included: Beverages, Snacks, Lunch at Local Historic Winery and Bus Transportation from Fredericksburg Hospitality House

Wilderness Battlefield Bus Tour
presented by Kris White
8:30AM - 4:30PM

Education Manager at the American Battlefields Trust, Kristopher White will lead a bus tour fought in the snarled forest bordering the south bank of the Rapidan River in May of 1864, the Battle of the Wilderness marked the initial engagement in the climactic months of the Civil War in Virginia. The battle was also the first encounter between Union General Ulysses S Grant and Robert E Lee, commander of the Confederate forces. This battle would serve the opening volleys of Grant’s “Overland Campaign” and change the course of the war. Noted historian and Education Manager at the American Battlefield Trust, Kris White, will take us through the events leading to this unwanted, at least for Union forces, fiery battle in the impenetrable woods, to the momentous decision of General Grant to push forward and follow Lee wherever he may go.Included: Beverages, Snacks, Lunch at Local Historic Winery and Bus Transportation from Fredericksburg Hospitality House


Annual, Reception, Dinner, & Meeting at Fredericksburg Hospitality House
with Guest Presenter Brandon Bies
6PM - 9:45PM

6PM Reception
7PM Annual Dinner
8PM Meeting and Guest Presenter Mr. Brandon Bies

We have all walked many Civil War battlefields and it is Central Virginia Battlefields Trust’s mission to preserve these important properties. It has been said that a battle plan rarely survives the first volleys. Have you ever wondered how, after over 150 years, we know actually what happened on these fields? Yes, we do have surviving accounts of the actions, but they are not always accurate for every encounter. This is where Archaeology plays an important role. Manassas National Battlefield Park Superintendent, Brandon Bies, who holds a master’s degree in applied anthropology and bachelor's degrees in American history and anthropology as well as having served as an archeologist at Monocacy National Battlefield, will provide a presentation that will change the way we look at battlefields. Brandon will also walk us through the fascinating recent find of a surgeon's burial pit at Manassas National Battlefield. Don’t miss this exciting evening!


Breakfast at Stevenson Ridge
8:30AM - 10:00AM

Enjoy breakfast at Stevenson Ridge located on land that was part of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House and boasts some of the best-preserved Civil War trenches in private hands. Stevenson Ridge is named after Brigadier General Thomas Greeley Stevenson, a Union officer who was killed in the area on May 10, 1864, while commanding the First Division, IX Corps, in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Trenches dug by the soldiers posted in the area still snake through the woods on the back of the property, which sits adjacent to the National Park Service’s Spotsylvania Battlefield boundary.

Sunday Myer's Hill Tour
presented by Chris Mackowski & John Cummings
10:00AM - 12:00PM

For the first time, Chris Mackowski, editor in chief of Emerging Civil War & John Cummings, author of three books about the Stafford/Spotsylvania region, will lead a tour to explore the ground where action took place on May 14, 1864: CVBT’s newly purchased Myer's Hill. John Henry Myers himself was in the Confederate trenches at Spotsylvania while, nearby, his home saw intense action throughout the day. We'll visit the site of the Myer's homestead, trace the back-and-forth fighting, examine long-obscured earthworks, and talk about George Gordon Meade's near capture as Confederates tried to re-take the hill.

For additional conference information and registration please visit the CVBT website Return to Archived News Stories

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