Summer Programs

Summer Programs at the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox

Surviving in Civil War Appomattox: What was life like for people – both free and enslaved – living in Appomattox during and after the Civil War? How did the war affect their lives? What choices did they make to adapt? Find out during this outdoor 30-minute guided discussion of our 19th century cabin areas. This program begins at 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm (though schedule is subject to change).

Summer Programs at Historic Tredegar

Join us on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day at the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar for our special summer programs. Historical interpreters lead both formal programs and informal conversations. Schedules and meeting places vary by weekend. You can call 804-649-1861 ext. 149 each Saturday and Sunday for the day’s schedule. 

Possible programs include the following:

Cannon Firing Demonstration: Artillery is an iconic image of the Civil War, and armies used cannon as both physical and psychological weapons during battle. Examine the role of cannon on the battlefield, and even step into the footsteps of the artillery crew. Historical interpreters guide volunteers through a dry run of the loading and firing process before demonstrating a live firing.

Tredegar History Tour: Tredegar Iron Works was the Confederacy’s most important industrial complex during the Civil War. In peacetime, it supplied the vast expansion of the railroad industry; in war, it produced the largest number of cannon in the Confederacy. Discover the vital role of the iron works, the diverse people who worked there, and the historic buildings on site.

Rifle Musket Demonstration: Explore the complex reasons soldiers fought and discover how the average soldier lived, camped, and drilled during the War. Witness the process involved in loading and firing the rifle musket, and see how its new technology resulted in evolving military strategies and higher casualty rates.

Medicine in the Civil War: How does modern medical technology compare to that of the Civil War? Why did more soldiers die in hospitals than in battle? Despite the terrible challenges facing field surgeons and nurses, there were impressive advancements in military medicine during the War. Delve into some of these advancements as well as the reasons behind the striking death toll.

Brown’s Island Tour: Historical interpreters lead a walk across the canal from Tredegar to Brown’s Island, the small island that once held the Confederate States Laboratory. Discuss the Laboratory’s workforce of young women, life as a prisoner of war on Belle Isle, and Richmond’s evacuation fire, all starting from the unique vantage point of Tredegar’s strategic position along the James River and Kanawha Canal.

Life on the Homefront: Discover how the lives of those not fighting (especially women and children) changed during the Civil War. Explore the powerful impact that limited resources, inflation, and the changing workforces and responsibilities had on everyday life.

The Cost of War: The Civil War was extremely expensive in many ways: human lives, physical and psychological scars, societal impacts, and financial costs all weighed heavily throughout the War and in the decades after. How do these profound costs compare to each other? How do they compare to other American wars?