Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Commemorating the Patriots of Second Manassas

I knew that the end of August and first three weeks of September were going to be busy, and they have not disappointed thus far! The fun began on Saturday, August 25 when I photographed an all day bus tour following the path of "Stonewall" Jackson's advance to capture the Manassas railroad junction, which resulted in the Second Battle of Manassas.

The tour began with a stop at a country club where the ranger addressed the audience while standing on a golf course (for reasons unknown to me the ranger leading the tour was wearing a blue polo shirt and khakis rather than his actual uniform).

The tour continued to this beautiful old Baptist church and numerous other sites along the path to Manassas including the ruins of an old mill in Thoroughfare Gap. 

The rain had threatened throughout the day and finally caught up with us at Bristoe Station. The ranger continued to lead the tour all the same, though many of the visitors were ready to get under cover!

It was a fun way to begin the commemoration of the Second Battle of Manassas. If you are interested in seeing more pictures of the Bus Tour  simply follow that link to the album we posted on facebook.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we ended up not having any funding available for overtime for Second Manassas, and thus had to work some unusual schedules in order to cover everything. This meant that I hardly saw my coworkers throughout the week since I worked the early shift and they worked later to cover the evening tours.

Tuesday, August 28 marked both my first day back at school and the beginning of the actual 150th anniversary of the Second Battle of Manassas. I started class at 7:20 pm, less than an hour after the first shots were fired at Brawner Farm in the opening action of the battle. I found it rather funny that the two coincided so closely! Unfortunately that meant that I could not be go to both, and since I had to miss the first day of both of my classes last semester when Alison and I were traversing the country after our honeymoon, I decided that I really ought to go this time!

So I ended up working fairly normal hours during the actual anniversary so that I could make it to class as well. It was a pretty tiring week, but I did enjoy both of my new classes and am looking forward to what I will be learning. My first class is on the Gilded Age and is taught by a funny Irish professor who definitely brings life and interest to the topic. I was not originally going to take this class, but when the one I was planning on taking on westward expansion got canceled, I had to find an alternative. I have never really studied the period of the Gilded Age so I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about it.

My second class is on the American Revolution. Not only did I have to do the reading for this class during this past week, but I actually already had to write a paper. So my Labor Day holiday was spent writing a book review, which I did mange to finish and will turn in when I go to class today.  So after today's class I will have already read 3 books and completed a paper for this semester!

I spent most of my time at work either out photographing tours and commemorative activities or sorting through pictures, editing them, creating albums, and posting them on facebook. Though I didn't take all of the pictures, I ended up putting together all of the albums throughout the week which you can find on the Manassas Facebook Page.

Here are some of the highlights of the pictures that I took of the commemoration of the Second Battle of  Manassas during this past week...

To give you some idea of the size of the crowds on the walking tours: This particular one took place at 10:00 on Wednesday morning.  

There was at least one baby on most of the tours. This particular one was on three 90 minute walking tours in a single day.

                           This one of the spider is one of my favorites. :)

Okay, so I didn't actually take these two (since I had to be in class at the time), but I did crop and edit both pictures to get the color to come out the way you see it and I wanted to include some of the sunset pictures! The guy on the right is the Superintendent (boss) of Manassas National Battlefield. Click on this link to see more pictures from August 29

This is the Chief of  Interpretation at Manassas 

The real time commemorative tours culminated in a hike following the Union advance to attack the Confederate position along the Unfinished Railroad at Deepcut on August 30. The six surrounding pictures are all ones I took on that tour. I especially enjoyed the boys wearing the Union kepis!

To see more pictures from August 30 follow these links...

August 30 Volume I

August 30 Volume II
I went back out for the continued commemorative activities on Saturday.

Ranger Sarah is actually filming video with this camera and is capturing the same moment that I photographed of these three children playing in the dirt.

I got another good capture of a cannon firing during the Artillery Demonstrations.

I also particularly enjoyed taking pictures of the cavalry demonstrations.

These kids were completely startled when a dismounted cavalryman fired his carbine. 

                  Another one of my personal favorites. :)

For more pictures of the living history follow this link...
September 1 Volume I

After leaving the horses I photographed some of the special lectures, one of which was being given by the Chief Historian of Fredericksburg. You can find those pictures here...  September 1 Volume II

I had the chance to introduce myself and when I did he told me they were looking forward to us coming to Fredericksburg in December.  That led to further clarification that I will, indeed, be going to Fredericksburg in December, followed by Chancellorsville and Vicksburg next May and Gettysburg in July. So there is much more to come!

The adventure continues September 13-17 at Harpers Ferry and Antietam!

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