Cannons, Hayrides Music and Fun at Fairfax's Civil War Day
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Cannons, Hayrides Music and Fun at Fairfax's Civil War Day

Civil War Day set for Historic Bleinheim on April 25.

Civil War re-enactors prepare to demonstrate the firing of a cannon during last year’s event.

Civil War re-enactors prepare to demonstrate the firing of a cannon during last year’s event. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

Civil War camp life and weapon-firing demonstrations are among the highlights of the 15th annual Fairfax Civil War Day. It’s set for Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Historic Blenheim Estate, 3610 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax. Courtesy of the City of Fairfax, Historic Fairfax City Inc. and the Fairfax Rifles – Company D of the 17th Virginia Infantry Living History Organization – residents will be able to step back in time for a glimpse of life here in the early 1860s.

Activities include demonstrations of cannon and rifle firing by Union and Confederate re-enactors, youth “boot camps,” wagon rides through soldier camps, author/vendor tents, blacksmithing, medicine and food demonstrations, plus period music. Talks inside the award-winning Civil War Interpretive Center will cover women’s fashions, the role of the banjo in the Civil War, the Old Capitol Prison, and Lincoln assassination conspirator Mary Surratt.

Attendees will also be able to visit with costumed people portraying Gen. and Mrs. Robert E. Lee, Col. John S. Mosby, Clara Barton, Gen. James Longstreet, reconnaissance balloonist Thaddeus Lowe, Chief Surgeon Rauh, Union nurse Marilla Hovey and the Black Horse Cavalry.

Cost is $5 for adults; $3, children ages 3-12; and free for children 2 and younger. Proceeds benefit Blenheim’s renovation. Free shuttle service will be provided from Fairfax High School; no parking will be available at the event site. Food will be offered by Red Hot & Blue and Historic Fairfax City Inc.

Schedule of Events

  • Activities

Historic Blenheim House (First Floor) Tours (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Grandma’s Cottage Open for Self-Guided Tours (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Civil War Interpretive Center Gallery Open (10 a.m. - 5p.m.)

  • Exhibits: Blenheim’s Civil War Soldier Graffiti plus Images of Mosby

Civil War Authors Tent (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

Wagon Rides (noon - 4 p.m.)

  • Living History Presenters and Displays (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

10 a.m. Camps Open – Civil War Balloon Inflation with Thaddeus Lowe

10:30 a.m. Beginners Boot Camp – Youth Program – 17th Virginia Infantry, Co. D, and 28th Massachusetts Infantry, Co. B

Civil War Music – HomeFront

Living History: “Talk with a General” – Gen. James Longstreet, Confederate Camp

Film: “The Spy Within” – Women of the Civil War, Civil War Interpretive Center

11 a.m. Talk: “Times, Toils, and Tribulations at the Old Capitol Prison” – Jon D.Vrana, Civil War Interpretive Center

Living History: “Caring for the Sick and Wounded” – Federal Military Hospital, Union Camp

11:30 a.m. Cannon Firing Demonstration – Carpenter’s Battery and Battery B, 1st Connecticut Light Artillery

Noon: Civil War Music – HomeFront

Living History: “The Arrest and Incarceration of Mary Surratt” – Carol Polkinghorne, Denise Winter and Jon D. Vrana, Grandma’s Cottage front porch

Living History: “Ask the General: The End of the War” – Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate Camp

12:30 p.m. Talk: “Civil War Women’s Fashions” – Amy Beechler, Civil War Interpretive Center

Beginners Boot Camp – Youth Program – 17th Virginia Infantry, Co. D and 28th Massachusetts Infantry, Co. B

Living History: “Meet the Officers and Engineers” – 2nd Corps Camp

Demonstration: “Cooking Up the Past” – Joyce White, food historian

1 p.m. Living History: FREED—Portrayals of African American Women and Mourning Lincoln – Civil War Interpretive Center

1:30 p.m. Cavalry Tactics Discussion – Black Horse Cavalry, 4th Virginia Cavalry, Co. H

2 p.m. Cannon and Firing Demonstrations – 17th Virginia Infantry, Co. D, Carpenter’s Battery, and 1st Connecticut Light Artillery

2:30 p.m. Civil War Music – HomeFront

Living History: “Caring for the Sick and Wounded” – Federal Military Hospital, Union Camp

3 p.m. “17th Virginia Infantry, Co. D, Then and Now”– Paul Goss and Chris Hoehne, Confederate Camp

  • Demonstration: “Cooking up the Past” – Joyce White, food historian

3:30 p.m. Beginners Boot Camp – 28th Massachusetts Infantry, Co. B

  • Talk: “The Banjo in the Civil War”– Greg Adams, Civil War Interpretive Center
  • Living History: “Meet the Officers and Engineers” – 2nd Corps Camp

4 p.m. Cannon Firing Demonstrations – Carpenter’s Battery and Battery B, 1st Connecticut Light Artillery

4:30 p.m. Music and Dancing – HomeFront.

For more information, go to http://www.fairfa...">www.fairfaxva.gov or call 703-591-0560.