Summer of '62 focuses on overlooked battles

August 25, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

BOONSBORO - Two often overlooked Civil War battles will be re-enacted this weekend near the western edge of Boonsboro with the aid of about 1,500 re-enactors and 50 horses.

The Battle of Cedar Mountain and the Battle of Second Manassas are often overshadowed by more famous battles such as Gettysburg and Antietam, though they featured some of the famous Civil War personalities - Gen. Robert E. Lee, Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson and Maj. Gen. John Pope, organizer Chris Anders said.

These battles were precursors to the Battle of South Mountain and the Battle of Antietam and took the war from the gates of the Confederate capital to the gates of the Federal capital, Washington city, Anders said.


Jackson considered the Battle of Cedar Mountain his greatest victory, but it was a "great bungles battle," Anders said. Jackson had his opponent outnumbered but barely won the battle.

This battle took place near Culpeper, Va., on Aug. 9, 1862.

The other re-enactment will be the unfinished railroad cut portion of the Battle of Second Manassas. This battle took place on Aug. 29, 1862.

Anders said 21,000 to 22,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded or captured from Second Manassas, and Cedar Mountain had 6,000 to 7,000 casualties.

Each battle is expected to last 90 minutes with Saturday's Battle of Cedar Mountain beginning at 2 p.m. and Sunday's Battle of Second Manassas starting at noon, Anders said.

Festivities also include several talks about life and war during the Civil War, along with food and drinks. People may bring their own beverages and are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and stay behind the spectator lines, Anders said.

The event is being organized by Western Maryland Heritage Foundation, the same group that organized the World War II Battle of the Bulge in 2003 and "To the Gates of Washington, Battle of Monocacy" in 2004.

The nonprofit foundation based in Boonsboro works to preserve and interpret history so future generations can appreciate it more, said Anders, the foundation's president.

Half of the event's proceeds will be given to Friends of South Mountain Battlefield for interpretive markers at Fox's Gap, he said. The other half will be used for a variety of preservation causes.

If you go ...

WHAT: Summer of '62 Civil War re-enactments of the Battle of Cedar Mountain and the unfinished railroad cut portion of the Battle of Second Manassas.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., reopening at 9:30 p.m. for theatrical production on Saturday, Aug. 27; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28

WHERE: Monroe Road, Boonsboro

COST: Admission costs $5; ages 11 and younger, free.

DIRECTIONS: Take Alternate U.S. 40 east toward Boonsboro. Turn right on Md. 34. Turn right on Monroe Road. The re-enactment site will be half a mile ahead on your right.

MORE: For more information, call 301-432-0103 or go to for the complete schedule.

The Herald-Mail Articles