MSV to Open Rose Hill Grounds for First Kernstown Anniversary Event on March 21
Event Includes Demonstrations, Guided Battlefield Tour, and Access to Walking Trail
Winchester, VA 03/17/09…To commemorate the 147th anniversary of the famous First Battle of Kernstown, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) is opening its Rose Hill property to the public on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
On this special day, visitors will have the opportunity to interact with costumed interpreters, learn about Civil War life on the home front, take a guided battlefield tour, and experience the battlefield on a walking trail with seven interpretive signs.
First Kernstown was fought on March 23, 1862. The battle raged over hundreds of acres south of Winchester and was the first in the war’s famous Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. Ultimately a southern defeat, First Kernstown was Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s only tactical defeat of the war. Early stages of the battle were fought on the Pritchard-Grim Farm, now owned by the Kernstown Battlefield Association (KBA). Rose Hill was the scene of the battle’s later phase and final conflict. It was at a stone wall on the Rose Hill property that Confederate troops—under the command of Richard Garnett—held off approaching Federal forces until light began to fail and ammunition began to run out. Garnett retreated, not knowing that his fellow Confederate troops were close to victory just over Sandy Ridge.
This Saturday at Rose Hill, costumed interpreters from the 5th Regiment, Virginia Volunteer Infantry, Company K, will demonstrate soldiers’ camp life, and interpreters stationed near the site’s historic house will present Civil War life on the home front. Gary Ecelbarger, Civil War historian and author of We Are in For It!: The First Battle of Kernstown, will lead a guided battlefield tour at 1:30 p.m. On the tour, he will retrace the battle’s movements, discuss military tactics, and share personal stories of the soldiers involved in the fight.
Those who are interested in touring the Rose Hill grounds on their own are welcome to do so. The site features a walking trail with seven interpretive signs that tell the battle’s story, detail the human aspect of this particular battle, and explain why the Southern loss at Kernstown set the stage for Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. The walking trail is a little less than one mile in length.
Visitors are encouraged dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Admission is to the Rose Hill site is free to MSV Members and KBA Members, children aged 12 and under, and to those who purchase gallery admission tickets to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley on March 21. For all others admission is $5.
Following Saturday’s anniversary event at Rose Hill, the property’s walking trail will be open on the third Saturday of each month, April through October, from 1 until 4 p.m.
Rose Hill is located at 1850 Jones Road, 0.6 mile south of the intersection of Cedar Creek Grade and Jones Road in Winchester. Details are available online at www.ShenandoahMuseum.org or by calling the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley at 540-662-1473, ext. 235. –END–