By Donald Pfanz, National Park Service
Regiments that once confronted each other on the field of battle will soon meet again in camaraderie. On Sunday, soldiers of the 116th Virginia and 69th New York infantry regiments, two modern National Guard units, will join the National Park Service to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg.
At 1 p.m., the National Park Service will mark the anniversary with a procession from the Rappahannock River to Marye’s Heights, following the 69th New York’s route of advance. The procession will end with a program along the historic Sunken Road featuring music, readings, living historians, and reflections on the events of 150 years ago.
The 69th New York was one of five regiments that fought with the Irish Brigade, a unit composed largely of Irish immigrants. On Dec. 13, 1862, the regiment joined dozens of other Union regiments in attacking Marye’s Heights, losing 128 men, including each of its officers.
The 116th Virginia is a descendant of the celebrated Stonewall Brigade, which fought at Prospect Hill on the southern end of the Fredericksburg Battlefield. Originally led by General “Stonewall” Jackson, the brigade and its commander gained their famous nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), when they were said to have stood “like a stone wall” against Union attacks.
For additional information about the procession and other 150th anniversary events, go to the National Park Service website.
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