A Day in the Life of a Soldier – Living History at Ellwood


Saturday, October 13, 10am – 5pm
Ellwood Manor, 36380 Constitution Hwy, Locust Grove 22508

On Saturday, October 13, Living Historians John Yurechko, portraying a Union soldier, and Mike Pierce, portraying a Confederate soldier, will compare and contrast the equipment, motivation, and experiences of soldiers on opposing sides during presentations at 11am and 1pm. They, along with several other Living Historians, will be on site all day to talk about camp life and Civil War military service in general.

Author and retired National Park Service Historian Don Pfanz will give a presentation at Noon regarding “The Great Skeleton Hunt of 1865”. Don’s new book, Where Valor Sleeps: A History of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery 1866–1933, will be available for purchase and he will be glad to sign your copy until 2pm. Eastern National will have a selection of similar books for purchase on site as well.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the various presentations so they will be able to sit comfortably while they listen and ask questions, etc.

Living Historian John Pelletier, who portrays a Civil War Surgeon, will be available inside the house (Ellwood Manor) throughout the day. Visitors are encouraged to converse with him and ask questions about medical practices utilized during the Civil War era. See reproductions of the various instruments in a surgeon’s kit and learn how surgeons saved many lives despite some misconceptions regarding the importance of sanitation.

A guided walking tour to the site of the Wilderness Tavern will be led by a Friends of Wilderness Battlefield (FoWB) volunteer at 2pm. The tour begins at the front steps of the house and is approximately 1.5 miles in length over unpaved terrain, and takes about an hour and 15 minutes to complete. Visitors will learn why the armies were drawn into combat in the Wilderness and how the roads and vegetation affected the battle. Tour participants will see parts of historic road traces of the Orange Turnpike, Germanna Plank Road, and the Ellwood Carriage road, as well as cross over the Wilderness Run on a solid wooden footbridge. Sturdy walking shoes and bug spray are recommended, and don’t forget a bottle of water!

A less strenuous, 45 minute, tour of the grounds of Ellwood will be offered at 4pm. which covers the family cemetery, said to contain Stonewall Jackson’s left arm, the possible site of two of the slave cabins, the site of a 19th century orchard and other landmarks such as several outbuildings and the carriage road.

All programs are free and open to the public.

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