Civil War Fredericksburg: Then & Now
A New DVD From the CVBT
BY TOM VAN WINKLE
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
Today many people are pooling there resources to better manage and increase productivity. In the business of today’s Civil War preservation challenges this is also the case. For example, the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust and the Civil War Preservation Trust has worked in partnership on several projects including the Slaughter Pen Farm and Chancellorsville, Day One. Now Fredericksburg, Virginia’s oldest Civil War Round Table and the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust are doing just that.
The Fredericksburg Civil War Round Table and The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust have joined forces to create a unique DVD entitled “Civil War: Fredericksburg – “Then and Now”
The project is being produced completely by volunteers and is a feature length DVD. The purpose of this DVD is a multifaceted fundraising and educational tool. "The amiable all-volunteer production crew is amazing. They're passionate about preserving our Civil War heritage, experienced at making complex things happen, and skilled movie makers. If the audience enjoys viewing it as much as we are enjoying making it, we'll have a hit!" said Scott Eyestone the film’s director.
The Fredericksburg Civil War Roundtable, one of the oldest in America having been founded in 1957, approached the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust with the idea of producing this DVD. The proceeds will go directly to the mission of battlefield land preservation for which CVBT has been extremely successful having had a part in saving more than 800 acres to date. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to historic preservation and education initiatives in the Fredericksburg area. The importance of educating the youth of today to face the preservation challenges of tomorrow cannot be overstated.
“Proceeds from this project will go directly to preservation of our endangered area battlefields and the important efforts to educate today’s youth and further the understanding of our history and culture.”, states the projects Executive Producer Tom Van Winkle, also the Director of Communications for CVBT. “We also hope this DVD will help to serve as a stimulus to public interest and tourism during the upcoming sesquicentennial,” said Bill Huber, the originator of the idea at the Fredericksburg Civil War Round Table.
This DVD, filmed in high definition, will include five segments. The first segment, The “Battle Overview” will review the political situation prior to the Fredericksburg battle in December of 1862 and also cover the action from a military perspective. The “Then and Now” section is a virtual tour of the battle area with period and current photographs taken from the same camera angles. The third portion of the DVD is entitled “Then Remembered” and will feature discussions of veteran’s experiences whose units fought in the 1862 battle through the “minds eye” of four descendants. Segment four, “Preservation Challenges” is an overview of the challenges and accomplishments of the battlefield land preservation efforts in the area. Sites of proposed and current development will be featured. The last segment, “Planning Your Visit” is designed to give the visitor helpful hints in planning a trip to the Fredericksburg area. Karen W. Hedelt, Manager of Tourism Development for the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the City of Fredericksburg stated, “This DVD will be an invaluable tool for learning about and planning a trip to the Fredericksburg area’s battlefields. The historic images and presentations are very interesting.”
A special “Educators Edition” has also been created. This edition includes the Civil War Fredericksburg “Then and Now” DVD as well as a specially designed DVD for teachers, presenters and students. This DVD includes some 1,000 high definition photographs, both period and current, articles written by historians and researchers involved in the project and period documents such as discharge papers and soldiers diaries.
The DVD is scheduled for release on October 28th, 2009. “We wanted to get the word out about this unique DVD well in advance” said Tom Van Winkle, “This is a very involved project and we feel it will be a terrific vehicle to raise funds for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust’s mission to protect the remaining available Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Orange county battlefield land. Having just signed an option to purchase 93 acres of endangered battlefield land on the Wilderness Battlefield, the timing of this release is important. Time is running out and we need to act as quickly as possible to preserve this hallowed ground”.
Information on the October 28th premier event in Fredericksburg as well as DVD purchasing information can be found on Central Virginia Battlefields Trust’s web site www.cvbt.org
Point of Contact:
Tom Van Winkle