A day in the Life of a Soldier

Friends of Wilderness Battlefield is pleased to present a Living History Event at Ellwood on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., detailing what life was like for the common soldier in the Civil War.


Special Presentations:


10:15 AM: FoWB volunteers will lead a walking tour of the grounds around Ellwood. This is a fairly easy walk, over manicured lawn, and your guide will point out key features of the house and grounds. The walk will last approximately 45 minutes, stopping often to look at various features.


11:00 AM and 1:00 PM: Living historians Joe Bianchini and Mike Pierce, who portray a Union and a Confederate soldier, will compare and contrast the equipment, motivation, and experiences of soldiers on the opposing sides of the conflict.  Please bring a comfortable lawn chair to enjoy their presentation.


2:00 PM: FoWB volunteers will lead a walking tour to the site of the Wilderness Tavern. The tour begins at the front steps of the house and is approximately 1.5 miles in length over unpaved terrain.  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!


Throughout the day, living historian John Pelletier will portray a Civil War Surgeon inside the house.  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.


FoWB volunteers will be available to talk with visitors about possible ancestral connections to the Wilderness area and/or Ellwood in the Welcome/Heritage Program tent.
FoWB volunteers will also be available inside the house from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM to talk with visitors about the history and the significance of Ellwood during the Civil War.


All programs are free and open to the public. Donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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