State Parks Notes Civil War Sesquicentennial Events

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Virginia State Parks will recognize the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War with activities March 28 and 29 on grounds where soldiers stood.

Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park, in Rice, will commemorate the Civil War’s last major battle Saturday, March 28, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Restored to reflect conditions the family and soldiers experienced when the home served as a field hospital in April 1865, the Overton-Hillsman Farm House will be open 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for guided tours. Living history interpreters will be on the grounds.

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At 2 p.m., hundreds of living historians, including cavalry and artillery, will portray both Confederate and Union armies in tactical demonstrations of the battle fought across the fields of the Hillsman’s family farm.

The visitor center houses exhibits showcasing artifacts and research about the battles of Sailor’s Creek and the war’s impact on the citizens of Southside Virginia.

Programs are free but a $10 per car or $50 per bus special event parking fee applies. For more information, contact the park at or call the park office at 804-561-7510.

High Bridge Trail State Park, in Farmville, will hold a commemorative event Sunday, March 29. Activities include guided walking tours through an earthen fort and to the spot where the last Union general in the American Civil War, Gen. Thomas Smyth, fell from a sharp-shooter’s bullet. Prominent Civil War historian and author Chris Calkins will take visitors on a journey of the mind as he relates true stories of desperate actions made by ordinary soldiers caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Programs begin at 10 a.m. and are free but a $4 parking fee applies at park access areas.

For more information contact the park at or call the park office at 434-315-0457.

Nearby Twin Lakes State Park, in Green Bay, will host the Virginia Historical Society’s panel exhibit An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia – From 1861 through 1865 starting Friday, March 20, and ending April 3. The exhibit will be in the Cedar Crest Conference Center and is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information contact the park at or call the park office at 434-392-9027.