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“Is this 2016?”, you may ask as you approach Battersea along Upper Appomattox Street in mid-April. It may not seem so as the Revolutionary War for American Independence will be brought back to life on April 16 and 17th at historic Battersea, one of Petersburg’s premier architectural treasures. This outdoor festival is the 25th annual Revolutionary War Re-enactment of the 1781 Battle of Petersburg.
Offering free admission between 10:00 and 4:00, attendees can travel back in time to learn about the uniforms, equipment, and re-created lifestyles of the soldiers who fought for freedom from the British. Visit with re-enactors portraying American, British and German troops camping on the grounds of Battersea. While there, you can watch regimental drills, training exercises, skirmishes, and battle demonstrations. Meet the sutlers (merchants) who traveled with the troops in order to sell them goods and make purchases of their assorted wares. Vendors of period clothing, jewelry, glass, art, crafts, food, and other wares will be on hand.
On Saturday, the 16th, at 10:30 a.m., there will be a Commemorative Ceremony of the Revolutionary War Battle of Petersburg and wreath laying in honor of Major General William Phillips. Activities each day include period music performances, dancing, children’s games, horse demonstrations, an artist, and much more. Authors of books set in Petersburg, Kenneth Holt and Nancy Dyer, will also be present. Enjoy Signora Bella, the great Italian equilibrist (performing 18th century acrobatics) and a battle demonstration – “On Command” – Find, Fix and Finish the Enemy as well as cooking demonstrations, “Makin’ Sumptin’ Outta Nothin”, by Wisteria Perry.
A schedule of events is available at the front gate of Battersea. Attendees can plan a day of family time around dining on food from various vendors and experiencing exciting opportunities for historical and cultural explorations. Watch the Re-enactment of the 1781 Battle of Petersburg at 1:30 pm each day. This will be the 235th anniversary of the battle.
Built in 1768, historic Battersea is a beautiful eighteenth century Neo-Palladian style building and home of founding father, Colonel John Banister. The Colonel was a signer of the Articles of Confederation and the first Mayor of Petersburg. In 1969, Battersea became a part of the National Register of Historic Places listing. Battersea will be open daily for self-guided tours. It is located at 1289 Upper Appomattox Street and Battersea Lane in Petersburg, Virginia.
This event is brought to you by the Petersburg Department of Cultural Affairs, Arts and Tourism in their continued effort to bring entertaining and educational events throughout the year that showcase the unique and rich history of the City. Department is committed to spotlighting the unique history, architecture and the beautiful buildings and homes that enhance Petersburg area as a tourist attraction. For further information, please call the Petersburg Old Towne Visitor’s Center at 733-2400.