Did you ever want to go back in time, say 150 years, and meet Abraham Lincoln or a Confederate spy? Now is your chance.
On Saturday, October 22 the McLean & Great Falls Celebrate Virginia. Inc. (MGFCV) presents McLean Remembers the Civil War at the McLean Community Center, in honor of the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States. This event will feature living history such as a magnetic telegraph and signal corps, re-enactors of famous individuals, re-enactments of events, Civil War encampments and hospitals, and live period music. There will also be a presentation by honored guest, journalist and author Roger Mudd, and a speaker series on various regional Civil War topics.
The program includes no mention of slavery which was the major cause of this the bloodiest war on American soil. Viriginia was one of of the 11 states of the Confederacy. Richmond served as the Capital of the Confederacy. Virginian Robert E. Lee led the confederate army.
Slavery existed throughout McLean. Freedman established communities in McLean after the war.
“Most of the people who live in the area have no idea that McLean played a big role in the first six months of the Civil War…The area was denuded of trees and covered with tents…General McLellan went up and down Chain Bridge Road…Soldiers died here,” said Carole Herrick, chairman of the event.
Herrick, who has a great interest in McLean’s history, mentioned that the Salona property on Dolley Madison Boulevard held much historical significance during wartime. The house was a headquarters for General William (Baldy) Smith, and the property became an encampment for 5,000 members of the Vermont Brigade – the first brigade formed of regiments from a single state.
The McLean-Great Falls committee was formed in 2007 in preparation for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Their second event was last year’s celebration of McLean’s 100th anniversary. This year’s event is their third. This is a working committee and all members volunteer significant amounts of time to each event.
Mary Anne Hampton, a committee member, is a little apprehensive about the weather for this rain-or-shine event. "We’re prepared to punt if it rains… I’m most worried about the soldiers and the tents,” she said.
“I believe that it’s going to be a great family event with educational opportunities for both adults and kids. We’ve got some great displays and re-enactors, and wonderful speakers. I think people will enjoy it.”
Here is a list of the day’s activities to help plan your visit:
Opening Ceremonies 11a.m.
- Carole Herrick, Chairman
McLean Remembers the Civil War
- Presentation of the Colors: Boy Scout Troup #128
- Kevin Dent, Chairman, MCC Governing Board
Recognition of Honored Guests
Roger Mudd 11:15 a.m.
“Reminiscences of a McLean Rebel”
McLean resident Roger Mudd has a long and distinguished career in television journalism and broadcasting. He is noted for his award winning work with CBS News, NBC News, the MacNeil Lehrer Newshour on PBS, and the History Channel. His work has been recognized with, among others: five Emmys; the George Foster Peabody award for "The Selling of the Pentagon" in 1970, and for "Teddy” in 1979; and the Barone Award for Distinguished Washington Reporting in 1990. In 2010, Washington and Lee University announced it will establish The Roger Mudd Center for the Study of Professional Ethics.
Re-enactment: 11:35 a.m.
“A Vote on Secession”
Presented by the American Living History Educational Society
A lively reenactment of McLean voters at the poll on May 23, 1861; a critical moment in our nation’s history. Observe surprising voting practices, hear where local voters stood on secession, and what factors influenced their vote.
- 12:15 p.m. Carole Herrick: The Sleeping Sentinel
- 1:00 p.m. Joe Stahl: Discs from Soldiers who Built Fort Marcy
- 1:30 p.m. Bradley Gernand: Balloon Reconnaissance in Falls Church
- 2:00 p.m. Carole Herrick: The Battle of Lewinsville
- 2:30 p.m. John Waggoner: The Battle of Dranesville
- 3:00 p.m. Chuck Mauro: Stories of Civilians in Langley & Lewinsville
MAFFITT, STEDMAN & HALLWAY CABINETS
Civil War maps, guns, swords, photographs, and artifacts including the Civil War in the Hunter Mill Corridor display. Interpreters: Roy Kennedy, Paul Kohlenberger, Jim Lewis and William Swarm
MAFFITT: The Yankee Schoolmarm
STEDMAN: Union Field Hospital
GROUNDS: Fairfax Rifles: Virginia Infantry Regiment, Company D
The Magnetic Telegraph Co: The First Telegraph;
Spy Networks; Demonstration of Home Life
Meet: President Abraham Lincoln
First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln
General George McClellan*
Colonel John Singleton Mosby
Confederate Spy Belle Boyd*
Northern Spy Mary Louise Bowser*
Music & Songs of the Civil War: Evergreen Shade
Closing Trumpeter: Arthur Amchan
* The Mosby Players