THIS WEEKEND: Battlefield preps for re-enactment weekend

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — The New Market Battlefield State Historical Park is overcoming the death of its longtime interpretation director to finalize preparations for the anniversary of the Battle of New Market.

The park hosts its 152nd re-enactment of the battle at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The interpretation wraps a weekend of activities that starts today.

For the first time since 2011, the re-enactment falls on the same date the Union and Confederate armies fought in 1864.

Maj. Troy Marshall, the park’s director, will open the weekend with a tour of the battlefield for 50 pre-registered guests at 2 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, interpreters and volunteers will hold demonstrations of life in a Confederate army camp and daily activities of the Bushong family, whose farm was a pivotal site of the battle.

An artillery demonstration, an additional battlefield tour and a tactical re-enactment round out the day’s events.

A Civil War-era church service and more demonstrations on Sunday lead up to the official re-enactment, which runs until the park closes at 5 p.m.

The re-enactment weekend is being held without Stacey Nadeau, the park’s supervisor of historical interpretation, for the first time since she assumed the position in 2011.

Nadeau, 45, died of cancer on April 25. During a previous interview, Marshall called her the “de facto special events coordinator” for the battlefield.

“We couldn’t have made it through the 150th anniversary celebration [in 2014] without her,” he said.

The Battle of New Market, during which Confederate forces temporarily prevented the U.S. from claiming the Shenandoah Valley, killed almost 1,400 Union and Confederate soldiers.

It is best known for the participation of 257 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute, who marched 80 miles from Lexington to New Market for the battle. Ten cadets were killed and 45 were wounded in the conflict.

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