Civil War reenactments are not uncommon in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, which was a pivotal region seeing many battles during America's "War between the States."
Those involving cavalry charges are rare, however, which makes the
June 10 - 12th reenactment of "Hunter's Raid on Lexington" so special. The event is taking place, not surprisingly, at the Virginia Horse Center, just outside Lexington, which is one of the state's most historic and charming towns. Home of the famed Virginia Military Institute, Lexington was attacked by Union troops under General David Hunter toward the end of the war. The Institute was set afire, possibly in payback for the legendary charge of VMI cadets which turned the tide for the Confederates in a previous battle at New Market, further north in the valley.
The two-day event will involve hundreds of blue and gray-clad reenactors, artillery blasts and, as mentioned, charges on horseback. It will also feature living history demonstrations, music, food, and antiques vendors, making it a spectacle even non-Civil War buffs can enjoy - surrounded by one of the most scenic areas of the country. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 7 to 12.
Lexington itself is worth visiting in its own right, with such attractions as the VMI Museum, the Gen. George C. Marshall Museum and Library, the Lee Chapel (General Robert E. Lee's final resting place), the Stonewall Jackson House and many more. Also nearby are such scenic attractions in this beautiful region as Natural Bridge, Grand Caverns, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Since it's the home of Washington & Lee University as well as VMI, there are plenty of accommodations in and around Lexington. A fine B&B; with a wonderful view, Fox Hill Bed & Breakfast, would be a great choice, if available(www.foxhillbb.com).
For further information on the Hunter's Raid Reenactment, log on to www.horsecenter.org/civilwar. For more information on Lexington, go to the Lexington Visitor's Center website, www.lexingtonvirginia.com. Enjoy!