Battlefield Guide Services

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chancellorsville NPS Living History Camp – 1975

The above images were taken in July of 1975 while my family visited a living history presentation of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Situated in the woods near the Chancellorsville Visitor Center, the “camp” was designed to portray pickets of Company C of the 2nd North Carolina Infantry. The park sponsored this display for several years and it had been featured in an article in National Geographic Magazine’s November 1974 issue, Vol. 146, No. 5.
A sign at the head of the trail leading to this display explained that after the Confederate victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, small detached picket posts like this were placed strategically across the vicinity to monitor Federal activity along the Rappahannock River.
My family arrived around lunchtime and watched the soldiers cook and consume their rations which included a recently “foraged” chicken.
Volunteers for these camps consisted of seasonal park employees, some of which ended up making a career with the National Park Service.
Demonstrations like this were inspirational to many kids like myself. I was fourteen at the time and would have enjoyed nothing better than to have been able to hang out in the camp all day and soak up the history.
I would enjoy hearing from former participants in these NPS sponsored camps at Chancellorsville.


John Hennessy said...

John: Great photos... Can we get copies for the park's collection? We have very few of the camp.....

John Cummings said...

John: It will be my pleasure to provide copies of these images for the Park files. There are about tweleve all together. I will check with Eric Mink as I seem to recall he already borrowed them for the digital files he is collecting in his office.
John Cummings

Eric Mink said...

Sorry, John, but I never borrowed them. I would like to, however.

I recently talked with a couple people who worked at that camp 1973-1974: Les Jensen (Curator of Arms and Armor, West Point Museum, USMA); Dave Ruth (Superintendent, Richmond National Battlefield Park). Charlie Childs, who owns County Cloth in Paris, Ohio, was also a member of the camp.


John Cummings said...

I will bring them by this coming week if the weather permits...