Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yorktown to commemorate Civil War over Memorial Day weekend


May 15, 2012
     Despite the fact that Yorktown's Civil War "Siege of 1862" ended in early May, the York County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee and the National Park Service are focusing commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in York County around Memorial Day weekend.
     Upcoming events, leading into and during Memorial Day weekend, include:
  • May 10 through May 28: Tabb Library will host, "An American Turning Point - The Civil War in Virginia," a traveling panel exhibit comprised of images, interpretive text, and a companion website, detailing Virginia's role in the Civil War. Tabb Library is located at 100 Long Green Boulevard. Call 757-890-5100 for library hours. Free.
  • May 17 and 18, 7 - 9 p.m.: Dr. James L. Green, Director of Planetary Science, at NASA, in Washington, D.C., will present, "Civil War Balloons During the Peninsula Campaign." This lecture will emphasize the exciting details of how the balloons were used on the Peninsula and their subsequent impact on the war from both sides. On Thursday, May 17, Dr. Green will speak at the Main Street Preservation Trust, 6894 Main St., in Gloucester, and on Friday, May 18, Dr. Green will speak at York Hall, 301 Main Street, in Yorktown. For more information, call 804‑693-0014 in Gloucester or 757‑890-3508 in Yorktown. Free.
  • May 20, 3 p.m.: J. Michael Moore, Historian and Curator at Lee Hall Mansion and Endview Plantation, will lecture on many well-known and not-so-well-known facts about the Peninsula Campaign and why it failed to end the war in the spring of 1862. York Hall, 301 Main Street, Yorktown. Sponsored by the York County Historical Committee. Call 757‑890-3508. Free.  
  • May 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Civil War Balloon Exhibit - Kevin Knapp, retired Army Officer, professional balloon pilot, and Civil War Balloon Corps enthusiast will share separate presentations on how balloons were used for observation and surveillance by both the North and the South. His hourly presentations will include the complete history of balloon operations from their first appearance in 1861 to the end of the Balloon Corps in 1863. Yorktown Battlefield. Call 757-890-3508 or 757-898-2410. Free. This exhibit will also be on display on Monday, May 28, 10 a.m. – 3 pm, at the Gloucester Main Street Library, 6920 Main Street, in Gloucester.
  • May 26 – 27, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Civil War Weekend - Tactical demonstrations, encampments and a Confederate field hospital interpret the role Yorktown played during the Peninsula Campaign. On Sunday special memorial ceremonies will take place at the Yorktown National Cemetery and Confederate Cemetery. Yorktown Battlefield. Call 757-898-2410 or visit www.nps.gov/colo. Entrance Fee.
  • May 26 - 28, Sat - Sun, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Mon, 9 a.m. – noon: Virginia Civil War HistoryMobile - The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile is an interactive "museum on wheels" housed in a 53-foot expandable tractor-trailer. The four-year tour launched on July 21, 2011, in conjunction with the 150th anniversary commemoration of the First Battle of Manassas. The HistoryMobile draws together stories from all over Virginia and uses state-of-the-art technology and immersive exhibit spaces to present individual stories of the Civil War. Yorktown Battlefield. Call 757‑898-2410 or visit www.nps.gov/colo. Free.
  • May 28, noon: Memorial Day Ceremony - Includes the posting of colors, historical re-enactors, a guest speaker, the placing of flowers, and the presentation of awards to student winners of the "York County Remembers" Poster Essay Contest. The ceremony will take place at the War Memorial in front of York Hall, 301 Main St., Yorktown. Call 757‑890‑3500. Free.
     The York County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee is comprised of representatives from York County, the City of Newport News, the National Park Service, the Peninsula Campaign Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the City of Poquoson, the United States Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, the Watermen's Museum, the York County Historical Committee, the York County Historical Museum, and the York County Historical Society. 
     Many of the events are made possible by grants or services provided by 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union; Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery; Big Top Entertainment; Digital Design and Imaging Service, Inc.; AVPC, Inc./Affordable DJs; Peninsula Campaign Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy; York County Historical Museum; York County Historical Committee; Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop/Green Mountain Roasters Café; Just Plumbing; VFW, Chapter 12; and the County of York.
     For information on these and other York County events, call 757-890-3500 or go to www.visityorktown.org.

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