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  • Writer's pictureBeth Stenstrom

First Quarter Newsletter Jan 1 - March 31, 2023

2022 Annual Meeting

November 12, 2022 by Beth Stenstrom, Vice President

Friends of Wilderness Battlefield held our Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at the Wilderness Baptist Church in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Around sixty members attended and enjoyed a quick and informative business meeting followed by a delicious lunch catered by Bella Cucina in Locust Grove.

Members enjoyed lasagna, salad, garlic bread, cookies and cake before we reconvened to listen to an excellent presentation by Tom Van Winkle,

President of the Central Virginia Battlefield Trust (CVBT). CVBT Executive Director Terry Rensel was also on hand to answer questions, and we had a bunch! The presentation was very informative and thought provoking and well received by all.

Congratulations to new board members Ben Hamm and Beverly Ellis and to newly elected incumbent board members Bob Lookabill, Kevin Hunt and Lynn McDonald. What a great team! We said a special Thank You to outgoing board member and past president for many years, Mark Leach. Mark helped grow the organization in bigger and better ways all around and he will be missed. FoWB President Bob Lookabill presented Mark with a special plaque with a gavel on it! Mark may no longer be on the board, but he plans to continue to be an active member. His legacy as President will stay with us for a long time, and, with it, many fun and happy memories.


Wilderness Brigade

gains a new Member!

by Bob Epp, FoWB Volunteer

L - R Arnie Slater and Bob Epp

Arnold "Arnie" Slater, of Barboursville, Virginia, is the latest Civil War descendant to honor his ancestor in the Wilderness Brigade.

The official Certificate was presented to Arnie during the recent annual meeting of the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield. Arnie was assisted in completing the application by Heritage Committee members Milbrey Bartholow and Bob Epp.

Private David C Jarrett, Arnie's great uncle, served with Co G of the 46th North Carolina Infantry Regiment and was present for duty on May 5, 1864. The 46th was assigned to Cooke's Brigade, Heth's Division in A P Hill's Corps when it fought along the Orange Plank Road near the Brock Road intersection. His pension application reflects that he suffered an arm wound during the hotly contested fighting there.

FoWB Heritage Program honors ancestors who fought at the Battle of the

Wilderness or were at Ellwood before and/or during the American Civil War.


Historic Preservation Recognition Award

by Beth Stenstrom, Vice President

L - R Bob Lookabill and Susan Wachter

FoWB was honored to receive a special award for their amazing work in researching and creating the Hospital Room exhibit at Ellwood. Hundreds of hours of research went into this endeavor, and the end result is excellent.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) recognizes and honors an individual or group that has done remarkable work at the community level in historic preservation, and they were excited to approve the Historic Preservation Recognition Award to FoWB. Washington-Lewis Chapter Regent Susan Wachter, in the blue blazer, and Washington-Lewis Chapter

L - R Beth Stenstrom, Bob Lookabill, Susan Wachter.

First Vice Regent Beth Stenstrom, in FoWB attire, presented the framed certificate to FoWB President Bob Lookabill in front of 60 plus members, at the FoWB Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 12, 2022!

Congratulations on an honor well deserved!


Welcome Lewis Rogers

We are delighted to welcome Superintendent Lewis Rogers to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Superintendent Rogers arrived in mid December and we are excited about working with him and moving forward in the new year! For more information, please go to


Our Marvelous Members

by Beth Stenstrom, Vice President

Have you ever wondered what our volunteers and members do when they aren't wandering around on the Wilderness Battlefield? OK, yes, they are probably wandering around on a different battlefield, but what else do they do? I am truly amazed at the talent and energy our members and volunteers have!

You have already seen the magnificent miniature figures Mike Pierce creates when he and his lovely wife, Linda, aren't volunteering to clean up a desert or assist with parking for another non-profit event. They sign up for marathons and bike rides and all sort of interesting things.

Many of our members are part of at least one Civil War Study Group, such as the one in Lake of the Woods in Locust Grove, VA. They have meetings and luncheons and fantastic speakers, and occasionally they have fantastic tours. There is also a Civil War Round Table in Fredericksburg which is similar to the one in Lake of the Woods! For more info, check out their websites!

Quite a few of our members belong to the Emerging Civil War group. Check out the excellent videos on their website!

Did you know that some of our members are even licensed tour guides and give tours of other battlefields in the state? Check out their website:

Some of our members are volunteers in other areas such as Visitor Centers,

Hospitals, Hospice care, etc. These people are busy! Others wander around the trails and pick up trash and take lots of amazing photos. Several are in the Fredericksburg Walking Club and that website is:

Some of our members are also in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, an organization dedicated to Historic Preservation, Education, and Patriotism. The Central Virginia Battlefield Trust is also dedicated to Historic Preservation and some of us recently attended their 2022 Conference, where we overheard several people comment that there were a lot of FoWB people there! (It was fantastic, by the way!) For more information, check out their websites!

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Another group some of our members belong to is the American Battlefield Trust, which is working to save battlefield properties of both Civil War and Revolutionary War. Here is their website:

Several of our members are also members of Friends of Chatham, another friends group dedicated to assisting the staff in the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. They are into tending the historic gardens at Chatham and helping with Historic Preservation.

A few of our members are active in the local genealogy group, Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society. Bob Epp is very active in this group and he is also active in our FoWB Heritage Program, as is Milbrey Bartholow. We appreciate their time and service assisting people with their Heritage Program applications!

We even have one member who gives ghost tours in downtown Fredericksburg. It's one of the programs that helps promote tourism in the city of Fredericksburg. It's seasonal, and here is that information!

We are proud of our members and truly appreciate the talent and enthusiasm they bring to our organization. What an amazing and well rounded group of people! You know what they say.... "If you want something done, ask a busy person!" These marvelous people will get it done!


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