Day two of our Shenandoah Valley tour began in the small hamlet of Port Republic, VA. We drove past the Kemper House, where, as we later heard the story told, Stonewall Jackson was sleeping before making a narrow escape from the Union army in the streets of Port Republic.
Our group gathered at the foot of this hill, known as "The Coaling," which was the scene of an intense fight between Union and Confederate armies.
We chatted with fellow tour-goers while waiting for everyone to gather for our short hike up the steep hillside.
At the top of the hill, this was the view of the Shenandoah River plain that awaited us.
We paused to listen to Mr. Potter, dressed in his Confederate general's uniform, detail what happened here during the Battle of Port Republic.
The agenda for the remainder of the day was to head north to visit New Market. We browsed the exhibits at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War at our leisure before walking out onto the battlefields.
Time for a bit of reenacting of the battle! Dividing into North and South, kids and adults charged across the field with rifles in hand.
Dad acted as the Union's commander, Franz Sigel, and his troops rallied behind him in spite of their defeat.
Posing beside a cannon is always a must. :)
New Market Battlefield was hosting a large reenactment for the 153rd anniversary of the battle a few days after we visited, so our tour planned to return to New Market to attend this event.
When we arrived on Saturday morning, dozens of tents were now in place and hundreds of period reenactors were busy in the encampments, tending campfires, playing fife and drums, and holding artillery exercises.
There was a cavalry demonstration that took place before the actual battle reenactment.
As we waited for the battle to begin, we toured the historic Bushong farm and orchard adjacent to where the fighting took place:
That afternoon, the soldiers from both camps then appeared marching over the hill and the reenactment ensued, as the large crowd that had gathered looked on.
It was a full day, and very interesting to watch! Have you ever attended a historical reenactment?
Later, I'll post about our final day of the tour in Part 3.