Only 2,000 ticketed spectators will be allowed to watch the reenactment of the Battle of Ball's Bluff next month which will take place on the actual battlefield which is located in a Virginia regional park. On Oct. 22, one day after the 150th anniversary of the battle, 1,000 re-enactors are expected to participate in the event scheduled for 2 p.m.
The number of re-enactors and spectators is limited because of the size of the park.
Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park and Morven Park, a non-profit organization that operates an historic mansion and 1,000 acres of property in Leesburg, where Confederate soldiers camped, are jointly sponsoring the three-day commemorative event that runs from Oct. 21 to the 23. At Morven Park, there will be an exhibit of Civil War clothing, weapons and documents at the mansion, a conference of authors and historians who will discuss the battle, a soldiers’ camp site and a re-enactment of the Battle of Dranesville.
Tickets for the Ball's Bluff reenactment are $5 but must be purchased in advance. Tickets holders will be taken by bus from Morven Park to the battlefield park and brought back.
Parking at Morven Park is $5 per day.Parking is free at Morven Park, but to attend any of the activities at the park, the charge is $5.
The battle itself is remembered as one of the most disastrous for the Union when a combination of misinformation and miscommunication led Union forces to cross the Potomac River, scale high cliffs and confront a much larger number of Confederates. As the Union soldiers were pushed back to the 70-foot-cliffs, some fell or jumped into the Potomac River where they were shot as they tried to swim away. Col. Edward Baker, a sitting U.S. senator from Oregon, was killed during the battle and more than 500 Union troops were taken prisoner.
The debacle led to the establishment of the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War that fought with President Lincoln over the conduct of the war and conducted numerous and lengthy investigations that appeared to lead nowhere.