The number of battles, skirmishes and conflicts rose rapidly in Virginia during the second year of the Civil War and the Richmond area was the most heavily involved. For 60 days, between May 9 and July 11, the National Park Service’s Richmond National Battlefield Park will offer events to commemorate the five battles that took place within the park boundaries in that time frame.
During the same period, other organizations are offering tours of battlefields outside the park jurisdiction, including Hanover Courthouse and Seven Pines as well as river cruises, commemorative services, children’s programs and lectures.
“On this date. In this Place. At this Time,” is the name for the program that organizers hope will bring a record number of visitors to learn more about the war’s impact on the region and in the process, boost the income for local businesses. Most events are free.
The first day offers the start of a week-long program at Richmond National Battlefield Park’s Drewry’s Bluff leading up the battle anniversary on May 15 when U.S. Navy made an unsuccessful attempt to take Richmond by water. Also on May 9, the Chesterfield County Public Library is offering a day of history-related activities for children.
The Park has also scheduled events to mark the Battles of Beaver Dam Creek, Gaines Mill, Glendale and Malvern Hill. Most are one-day events with speakers, exhibits and National Park Service ranger-led tours
The final event on July 11 is a discussion at the Virginia Historical Society by University of Virginia history professor and author Gary Gallagher on the importance of Union Gen. George B. McClellan’s failure to take Richmond and what happened after that.