For immediate release: May 29, 2013

Contact:
Peter Hujik
The Piedmont Environmental Council
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540-395-2911

Local Organizations Plan Commemoration of Madison’s “Battle of Jack’s Shop”

On September 22, 1863, the largest Civil War battle in Madison County took place. Known today as “The Battle of Jack’s Shop,” it was one of the largest cavalry engagements of the entire war. Madison County historian Harold Woodward, Jr. often quips that “it was the biggest cavalry battle you’ve never heard of.”

A number of local organizations hope that’s about to change. The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC); PEC’s Madison Conservation Fund; the Madison County Historical Society; and the Madison Chamber of Commerce and Tourism have joined forces to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle. In order to recognize the impact it had on Madison County -- as well as the role it played in the overall war -- organizers are planning a number of activities to mark the occasion.

The commemoration will take place Saturday, September 21, 2013 at Madison County High School, and will include the following:

  • In partnership with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, visitors will have a chance to explore “The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.” This interactive museum on wheels is on a four-year tour throughout the region. The HistoryMobile draws together stories from all over Virginia, and it uses state-of-the-art technology and immersive exhibits to present individual stories of the Civil War from the perspectives of those who experienced it -- young and old; enslaved and free; soldiers and civilians.

    On Friday, September 20, “The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile” will be open exclusively to students from Madison County Schools. The following day it will be open to the general public as part of the larger event commemorating the Battle of Jack’s Shop. There is no admission fee. More information on the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile and the initiatives of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission can be found at www.VirginiaCivilWar.org and http://www.virginiacivilwar.org/historymobile.php
     
  • Local Historian Harold Woodward, Jr.  will lead group tours of the battle site -- not far from the school near present-day Rochelle, Virginia. Tours will be offered periodically throughout the day.
     
  • Civil War Living History Reenactors from the 7th Va. Co. “A”, Confederate Infantry are expected to be on hand to demonstrate the life of a soldier during the war, as well as cavalry re-enactors along with an artillery command.
     
  • A number of Civil War era craftsmen, artisans, and vendors are expected to be there to share their work and speak with visitors regarding their trades.

Students from Madison County High School are participating in the commemoration in a number of ways. Some are working on projects that will be part of the visitor experience during the public event; others are contributing to the overall planning and administration.

Student projects include:

  • Creating a historical account of the battle which will be included on the event website, www.pecva.org/jacks-shop 
  • Performance of a vignette from Shakespeare’s  “Taming of the Shrew” - a play that Confederate troops performed at a gathering the evening before the battle.
  • Designing promotional materials for the event to be distributed by local tourism offices.
  • Volunteering on the day of the event to ensure it operates smoothly.
  • High School juniors will compete in an essay writing contest, describing Madison County during the Civil War. The winner will be presented with a cash scholarship award donated by Virginia National Bank.

The commemoration will undoubtedly be a great opportunity for families, history buffs, and tourists to learn more about this important part of Madison County’s history.

For further information about this event, please visit www.pecva.org/jacks-shop>>

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Founded in 1972, Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) is a non-profit and fully accredited land trust. PEC works with the citizens in a nine-county region to conserve land, create high-quality communities, strengthen rural economies, celebrate historic resources, protect air and water quality, build smart transportation networks, promote sustainable energy choices, restore wildlife habitat, and improve people’s access to nature.

The Madison Conservation Fund provides guidance and financial support for conservation efforts in Madison County that include keeping working farms and forests intact, restoring habitat for native fish and other wildlife, and preserving historic sites.

Other Partners or Event Sponsors Include:

Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy, Inc.

Kemper-Fry-Strother Camp #19 Sons of Confederate Veterans Madison, Virginia

Madison Chamber of Commerce and Tourism

Madison County Public Schools

Madison County Historical Society

Madison Parks & Recreation Authority

Pallas Athena Ladies Aid Society

Virginia National Bank

Women of the American Civil War Era