The re-enactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek returns this weekend to the battlefield near Middletown.
The event, hosted by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, will feature re-enactment activities throughout the weekend to commemorate the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek — a crucial battle during the Civil War that caused the final collapse of Confederate operations in the Shenandoah Valley.
The re-enactment was canceled in 2017 after a suspicious device was found on the battlefield grounds, and last year the foundation cited security reasons for canceling the event.
According to the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation website, there will be an increased security presence at this year’s re-enactment. Attendees can expect whatever bags they bring with them to be searched, and anyone entering the grounds is required to have identification.
Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland said that different sources of security will be in place during the event.
“We want everyone to have a good time, enjoy themselves and not be in fear of their safety,” he said. “We have numerous things in place. There will be some visible police presence.”
The re-enactment will involve hundreds of participants, and takes part on a key portion of the actual battlefield. It is conducted by a nonprofit foundation solely for preservation and educational purposes, and occurs on the actual anniversary of the battle.
Jeannette Shaffer, president of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, said there are 2,300 re-enactors registered for the event along with 18 civilian merchants.
“I can’t even guess how many spectators we will have but we’re hoping for a good turnout,” she said.
Belle Grove Plantation will also host several events this weekend, including Civil War music, civilian and military living history, house tours, National Park Service programs, and an exhibit of weapons and replica flags.
Kristen Laise, the executive director of Belle Grove Plantation, said the plantation will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to coincide with the reenactment. She said there will be a $5 fee to tour the manor house for those 13 and older. There will be no charge for those 12 and younger, members of Belle Grove and National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“It is always meaningful to commemorate the Battle of Cedar Creek on the actual day it occurred — October 19 — and Belle Grove looks forward to offering living history activities on the property as part of the anniversary weekend,” she said.