The City of Hopewell VA to Present Civil War Sesquicentennial Events March 20-28, 2015

Share Article

Hopewell’s recently restored historic Beacon Theatre is the venue for the City’s upcoming Civil War commemorative events, marking the final week of the war fought here 150 years ago. The week of activities will start on March 20 and 22 with a play, A Soldier Comes Home, which is based on soldiers’ touching letters written to the home front about life on the battlefield.

City Point in 1864

The City has been committed to diversity in ensuring that the full story of the impacts of the Civil War here are shared.

Hopewell’s recently restored historic Beacon Theatre is the venue for the City’s upcoming Civil War commemorative events, marking the final week of the war fought here 150 years ago. The week of activities will start on March 20 and 22 with a play, A Soldier Comes Home, which is based on soldiers’ touching letters written to the home front about life on the battlefield.

There will also be concerts, including a performance on March 27 by The Federalist Band from Baltimore, MD, that plays authentic Civil War music, as well as performances by Fort Lee’s renowned 392nd Army Band on March 25 and Hopewell High School’s band and show choir. A panel discussion on March 27 will focus upon President Lincoln’s time in Hopewell (then City Point) during two of the final three weeks of his life, along with an examination of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, much of which was filmed in the area. Dr. Lauranett Lee, Curator of African-American Studies at the Virginia Historical Society, will lead the Lincoln panel. This same event on the 27th will also include the Civil War Artifacts Roadshow, which will most certainly draw Civil War collectors.

The National Park Service, Petersburg National Battlefield will close the week-long commemoration on the afternoon of March 28, presenting The River Queen Conference: A Meeting to End the War. It is a real-time reenactment of a critical, game-changing meeting that occurred on the River Queen, President Lincoln’s boat, which was docked at City Point. At that time, General Ulysses Grant’s headquarters was located on the Eppes family’s Appomattox Plantation at City Point. The meeting included President Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant, General William T. Sherman, and Admiral David Dixon Porter. In addition to the meeting reenactment, noted Civil War historian Don Pfanz will speak at this event.

Herbert Bragg, Director of Intergovernmental & Public Affairs for the City of Hopewell, pointed out that since 2011 the City of Hopewell has sponsored a number of Sesquicentennial commemorative events in an effort to educate its citizenry about the City’s history and the significant role played by it during the Civil War. Historic markers have been placed throughout the City Point neighborhood; there has been a Civil War display at the Appomattox Regional Library in downtown, and Virginia’s Civil War 150 History Mobile was welcomed and visited by 2,500 of the City’s school children. The City sponsored programs included in the Lincoln Weekend, a regional Sesquicentennial event in 2012. A very moving exhibit continues at St. Dennis Chapel at City Point, Seeking Freedom Where the Two Rivers Meet: The Contrabands and City Point, depicting the African-American experience moving from slavery to freedom. “The City has been committed to diversity in ensuring that the full story of the impacts of the Civil War here are shared,” said Bragg.

About Hopewell/Prince George during the Civil War

The region now encompassing Hopewell and neighboring Prince George County, Virginia, was a major focal point of military activity during the final months of the Civil War. With its strategic location at the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers, City Point was a huge thriving port and an ideal setting for the Union supply base. The 292 days of fighting in this region commenced in June, 1864, when the Union forces laid siege to the City of Petersburg, a major supply center for the Confederate Army, and came to an end with the Breakthrough on April 2, 1865, forcing General Lee to evacuate Petersburg and Richmond. General Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9.

Information on these Hopewell Civil War Sesquicentennial events is available by contacting Herbert Bragg at (804)541-2270, or hbragg(at)hopewellva(dot)gov. Information about all of the region’s upcoming Sesquicentennial events is available on the Petersburg Area Regional Tourism website, http:/http://www.petersburgarea.org.

Share article on socal media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Polly Elmore
PR Works, LLC
+1 (804) 794-3631
Email >
Visit website