Battle of New Market Reenactment 2018

Annual Reenactment of the Battle of New Market

Battle of New MarketWhat is now historic Bushong Farm and the Virginia Museum of the Civil War was once the stage for one of the last major Confederate victories in the Shenandoah Valley, which took place on May 15, 1864.

Now every year, the Virginia Museum of the Civil War and the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park host the reenactment of the Battle of New Market. This year, the historical Civil War event will take place on May 19-20.

The oldest annual battle reenactment in the nation takes place on the original 1864 battlefield. Many guests at the Inn at Old Virginia enjoy have enjoyed experiencing the sights and sounds of one of the Civil War’s many conflicts.

VMI Cadets and the Battle of New Market

Field of Lost ShoesVirginia Military Institute cadets’ had a significant role to play in this battle, albeit an unwilling one by their commander.

On May 10, 1864, 257 cadets were ordered to join General John C. Breckinridge’s forces located near the town of Staunton, VA. Initially unwilling to expose the cadets to military fighting, he soon realized he had no other choice.

The VMI cadets did close the gap which allowed Confederate troops to push back the Union army. But it was not without cost. Ten cadets died and 45 were wounded.

Having lost their footwear because of heavy, thick mud from several days of rain.Cadets charged into battle barefoot but determined. Later, surviving cadets would be honored by both Confederate President Jeff Davis and Virginia’s then-governor, William Smith. Later, that section of the battlefield would be known as the “Field of Lost Shoes.” 

Exploring the New Market Battlefield

When you attend the New Market Battlefield Reenactment, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the battlefield itself. And, you can enjoy the Virginia Museum of the Civil War. Here you’ll find artifacts and dioramas that richly convey the story of Virginia’s role during the Civil War.

The museum also features:

  • Stained glass mural crafted by abstract artist Ami Shamir which depicts the Shenandoah Valley during wartime
  • “Field of Lost Shoes” Emmy-award winning film
  • The Virginia Room, which also chronicles the Civil War in Virginia
  • Battle of New Market war items such as a shell-damaged cadet musket, a cadet uniform from the battle, and more

About the Park

The park is easily accessible from the museum, and there is a park road which allows vehicular access. The terrain is relatively flat and grass-covered. You’ll want to allow yourself two hours to explore the facilities and the grounds.

Admission is just $10 per day with children nine and under free. Here’s the two-day schedule:

Battle of New Market Reenactment Schedule

10:00 a.m. – Grounds open to public
10:00 a.m. – Living History of Bushong Farm
11:00 a.m. – Artillery Demonstration (spectator area)
11:00 a.m. – Lecture: Battle of New Market (museum benches)
12:00 p.m. – Cavalry Battle (spectator area)
2:30 p.m. – Battle of New Market Reenactment – the First Day (spectator area)
5:00 p.m. – Grounds closed to public

10:00 a.m. – Grounds open to public
10:00 a.m. – Church Service
11:00 a.m. – Living History at the Bushong Farm
1:00 p.m. – Battle of New Market Reenactment – The Field of Lost Shoes (spectator area)
5:00 p.m. – Grounds closed to public

Come and see history in action! Book your reservation with us here.



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