Civil War and Emancipation Day

Civil War & Emancipation Day

Saturday, April 12, 2014
9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

This year’s Civil War & Emancipation Day provides free admission to all of the more than 25 participating sites and activity centers and offers an array of informative walking tours and presentations.
Join walking tours and attend programs to learn more about the following (details available from the Activities By Location button to the right):

  • Meet Richmond's Civil War Spies:  Elizabeth Van Lew and John Minor Botts. A guided bus tour will visit Oakwood Cemetery, Shockoe Cemetery, Castle Godwin, Libby Prison site, and the site of the Van Lew Mansion. 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. Registration encouraged.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch Go! Discover Walking Tour featuring the Liberty Trail. Walkers will travel along the Canal Walk to Lumpkin's and the African Burial Grounds, the State Capitol, and residential neighborhoods of Court End, Jackson Ward, and Monroe Ward. Approximately 5 1/2 miles. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. All participants should gather at the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the guided walk. Registration encouraged.
  • Bill Brackens and Mary Ryan will be at The American Civil War Museum at Tredegar. He operated one of the canal boats owned by Tredegar Iron Works. Hear his story of being a free black man employed by Joseph Reid Anderson. Mary worked on Brown's Island, home of the Confederate States Laboratory, where she toiled making cartridges. Meet Mary and help her roll some cartridges. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tredegar site.
  • Walking Tour of Jackson Ward, showcasing the remarkable development of businesses, entertainment, churches, and cultural institutions.
  • Meet John Mitchell, Jr., the equal rights activist and editor of the Richmond Planet. 11 a.m. at Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site and 1 p.m. at Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.
  • A walk along Richmond’s Slave Trail will be led by a member of the Richmond Slave Trail Commission, from Ancarrow’s Landing to Lumpkin’s Jail. Registration requested. 9:30 a.m., depart from Main Street Station, 14th and Main Streets.
  • Elegba Folklore Society will present In the Beginning... Virginia, Along the Trail of Enslaved Africans by Torch Light. Registration requested. Departure from Main Street Station, 14th and Main Streets.
  • And more

Watch cannon making demonstrations (and firings!), enjoy song and dance performances, watch Stavna perform "Angels of our Nature" ballet, and take a free Canal Boat ride. The day offers expanded opportunities to learn more about Richmond’s history and its role in the Civil War and Emancipation.

Admission to most sites and performances is free. Reservations are required and fees do apply for the Civil War Sampler Bus Tour and special exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Free shuttle transportation begins at 9:30 a.m. on April 12, from the American Civil War Center and the Virginia Historical Society. Look for VCU RamCharter buses with “Civil War Day” on the marquee. Drop offs are at the GRTC stops closest to the historical sites. The last shuttle runs begins at 5 p.m. Follow the shuttle's location; shuttles will appear as blue tracking dots on the website map. Park once and ride for free as you participate throughout the day.

Join us on April 12, 2014. See Richmond’s history in action.

Recent Coverage

Civil War and Emancipation Day in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Richmond Times-Dispatch
Civil War Scholarship
Civil War and Emancipation Day 2012
Civil War and Emancipation Day 2011
Civil War and Emancipation Day 2010