McDowell Battlefield Day is Saturday May 14

Hello, this is Lori Botkin with the Highland Historical Society and the Highland Museum.

The year: 1862.  The month: May.  The place: McDowell.

This year on May 14, history comes alive at Highland County’s McDowell Battlefield Day.  Step back in time and bring the entire family to an exciting and unforgettable day in the unspoiled mountains of Virginia.  In the 160 years since the battle, on May 8, 1862, little has changed.  The Church which was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers still stands and is in operation today as the McDowell Presbyterian Church.   A home, which was occupied by the Federal Army and was also used as a hospital, remains in pristine condition and today houses the Highland County Museum.  Several other homes remain in use today as they were during the battle.

In fact, the battlefield itself has remained largely untouched by the modern world since 1862.  The battlefield is comprised of steep hills and ravines.  It has been deemed 100% pristine by the U.S. Department of the Interior.  The Confederates held the hilltop while the Federals fired upon them.   Today it shows years of forest growth, but retains its original character.  During the battle, the land was used as pasture for stock and still is today.

At McDowell, experience what life was really like for civilians and soldiers in the crisis year of 1862.  Thrill to the re-creation of the Battle of McDowell as Stonewall Jackson appears and leads his men to the Confederate victory of the brilliant Shenandoah Valley Campaign.  Enjoy meeting and talking to living history civilians.  Visit with Confederate soldiers and walk through the Federal campsite.  Other events will include Bill Miller giving a talk on the overview of the battle from the Federal position on Cemetery Hill, followed by an artillery demonstration.  A battle re-creation on the river field, narrated by Bob Denton.  Richard Armstrong will be introducing his new book The Civil War in Highland County along with an opportunity to purchase and have him sign his book.  Greg Clemmer will also be available to sign his latest book, A Turn for Home.

This is a rare opportunity to watch history unfold.  Don’t miss McDowell Battlefield Day, May 14.   The event runs from 9am to 5pm.

For more information call 540-396-4478.  You can find the complete schedule of the event on our website and click on the McDowell Battlefield tab.

This is Lori Botkin for Allegheny Mountain Radio.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather