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Virginia Museum of the Civil War honors the 158th anniversary of the Battle of New Market

Published: May. 15, 2022 at 9:15 PM EDT
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NEW MARKET, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Museum of the Civil War honored the 158th anniversary of the Battle of New Market Saturday and Sunday.

There were guided tours of the battlegrounds, live demonstrations of life during the Civil War, and drills to reenact those performed during the Civil War time.

While all those activities were going on, one particular event happened this weekend the reenactors were most proud of.

“The highlight of the weekend was the rededication of our monument,” Chris Baran, captain of the 54th Pennsylvania volunteer infantry said.

The monument was originally dedicated by the veterans of the 54th Pennsylvania in 1905.

“To be able to recreate the dedication of a monument. It’s kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Baran said.

The state gave funds to their regiments to build a monument on a battlefield they had fought on, and the 54th PA chose the Battle of New Market.

“This is our Gettysburg in the sense of this is our first battle that our regiment fights in. We enlisted in 1861. First year and a half of the war we were guarding a railroad, so we missed a lot of battles early in the Civil War,” Baran said.

The Battle of New Market was the first the 54th PA fought in making it one of the reasons the reenactors came to the anniversary weekend, but many of them have ancestry on these grounds as well.

“To be able to come and literally in the case here. Walk in the footsteps of where history happened. There’s no better classroom than a battlefield,” Baran said.

Taking part in the 158th anniversary of the Battle of New Market was important to Baran and his infantry as they want to keep the history of the Valley alive, but taking part in the rededication of the monument was something they got to take away with them.

“That’s really what I told my guys is we can come and do ceremonies but, to rededicate is taking it to another level, that’s something that most reenacting organizations don’t get to take part in,” Baran said.

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