Summer Programs

Summer Programs at The American Civil War Museum - 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 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm (though schedule is subject to change).

Summer Programs at Historic Tredegar

Join us at Historic Tredegar from Memorial Day through Labor Day for our special summer programs. Historical interpreters lead both formal programs and informal conversations. Schedules and meeting places vary by day. You can call 804-649-1861 ext. 149 to learn what is happening that day. 

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. This demonstration takes place at 2 pm on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer. 

Living History: Interact with historical figures who worked at Tredegar and neighboring Brown's Island. 

Meet Mary Ryan- 1:00 - 2:00 pm July 15th & August 20th
During the Civil War Brown’s Island was home to the Confederate States Laboratory where a work force of mostly young women toiled to make cartridges and other supplies for the army. One worker was Mary Ryan, an 18 year old Irish immigrant. Guests are invited to meet Mary Ryan and help her roll some cartridges!

Meet Joseph Reid Anderson- 1:00 - 2:00 pm July 8th & 22nd and Aug 5th,12th & 19th
Tredegar Iron Works was owned and operated by West Point graduate Joseph Reid Anderson during the Civil War. Speak with the man himself to discover how he was able to provide the Confederate Army with more cannon than any other source!

Meet William Brackens- 1:00 - 2:00 pm July 1st, 9th, & 16th and August 6th, 13th & 26th
During the Civil War Tredegar Iron Works was supplied by its own canal boat fleet. Their best waterman was Bill Brackens. Visit with Mr. Brackens to discover the challenges he faced as a free black man working in the Confederate Capital.

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.

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.

Tredegar History Tour (separate fee required): 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. Starting Memorial Day weekend, this tour will take place at 11 am, Noon, 3 pm, and 4 pm Saturdays and 11 am, Noon, 2 pm, and 3 pm Sundays. From Monday through Friday, the tour takes place at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.

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? 

The Museum's summer program schedule also coincides with the Blue Star Museum season. Learn more about this great program for military families

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