I don’t have cable TV, so I thankfully have no exposure to the constant assault of the cable news networks. Instead, every morning I walk outside and pick up my morning Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star and sit down to a morning mug of tea. This morning I read about an event held by the Civil War Trust (CWT) to commemorate the 155th anniversary of the first battle of Fredericksburg. Historians from the CWT and the National Park Service filmed a terrain walk of the Fredericksburg battlefield.
“The small troupe trudged through the expansive field on Slaughter Pen Farm Wednesday morning, stopping intermittently under a clear winter sky and under the assault of freezing and whipping winds to recount a battle that raged on the outskirts of the city during the Civil War’s Battle of Fredericksburg.
Four historians rotated turns in front of a cameraman, armed with a smartphone, providing play-by-play accounts of the fighting—strategies, missteps, near misses and bloody clashes.
The group’s production at Slaughter Pen Farm was one of several stops as they hopscotched to numerous battle sites around Fredericksburg as part of a live Facebook video presentation marking 155 years since the famous and bloody Civil War battle in and around Fredericksburg.
Garry Adelman, director of history and education with the Civil War Trust, was the ringleader of the college football gameday-like live production, guiding the historians through the story of what happened on the fields outside the city in December of 1862 and interacting with viewers at the same time.” (FLS)
I maintain a Facebook account for the sole purpose of viewing other FaceBook pages of interest. How fortunate. I viewed the CWT videos on their Facebook page today and was glad I did. The cold and the wind of the last few days added to my appreciation of the videos, even if it did play havoc with the production. The series of videos started at Chatham Manor on the Stafford side of the Rappahanock River. It moved across the river to highlight the street fighting in the city. At Pelham’s Corner, we learn of the gallant Pelham and his twelve pounder Napoleon. The crew moves to the swale at the base of Marye’s Heights and then on to Slaughter Pen Farm and Prospect Hill before ending at the Sunken Road. A final video is taken at the Fredericksburg Confederate Cemetery to wrap up the event.
Eventually, CWT will put these videos on YouTube where they’ll probably be easier to view. I’ve walked much of the Fredricksburg battlefield, but the guided video tour was enlightening. My advice is to skip the Fox and Friends, MSNBC and CNN madness for a day and watch these videos.