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You are here: Home Opinion Paula I. Bryant PAULA I. BRYANT: Resurrected glory

PAULA I. BRYANT: Resurrected glory

Rebel yells, Confederate flags, the playing of Dixie — it will be a return to the land of revered memory at the site of the Battle of Staunton River Bridge this weekend when thousands will come to the spot where the forefathers of many of them sent a superior Union force reeling in defeat when it attempted to destroy the vital railway bridge link between the Confederate force in and around Petersburg and its arms and bread basket to the south.

It will be a weekend of nostalgia, a day of resurrected glory, a day remembered by many who will be there who heard of the heroics of June 25, 1864 from the lips of descendants who fought so valiantly and so well.

And it will be a festive holiday occasion too, as persons flocking to the Staunton River Battlefield State Park will be celebrating and remembering a key battle fought 150 years ago during the Civil War when young boys and old men from Halifax, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg counties defended the bridge in a fight to maintain a supply line to General Robert E. Lee’s forces. 

The celebration will begin on Saturday, with service awards, a wreath laying in remembrance of the defendants, tours and living history from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. 

The living history will include actors in period attire and special features such as women of the Civil War, guns and ammunition and a surgeon’s tent. 

A tactical demonstration of the battle will begin at 2 p.m. featuring some 500 re-enactors displaying an incredible piece of history in which Captain Benjamin L. Farinholt, a captain in the Confederate Army, and roughly 500 local citizens outsmarted and out-fought the approaching Union forces despite being outnumbered. 

A scripted re-enactment of the actual battle will take place at 3:20 p.m. when Seldon Richardson, great-great-grandson of Captain Farinholt, gives the official command.

In addition to Saturday’s proceedings that also include a night cannon demonstration and the playing of Taps at 11 p.m., the park will open on Sunday with many of the same events in addition to a church service at 9 a.m.

Some 150 years will be rolled back, and it will seem that it all happened only yesterday.

The park is located 18 miles east of South Boston. Take Route 92 to Clover. Go approximately five miles to Route 600 and turn left. Go about another three miles and turn right on Route 855.

Its address is 1035 Fort Hill Trail, Randolph, VA 23962-9801.

Latitude, 36.88629. Longitude, -78.70353. 

For more information, visit www.historicstauntonriverfoundation.org for a complete schedule and history of both the park and the battle.