2011-12-15 / Local & State

Battle Of Hancock Sesquicentennial Commemoration Plans Set

Hancock will commemorate its role in the Civil War through a series of events to be held January 5-8, 2012.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the small western Maryland town of Hancock was the site of The Battle of Hancock. Stonewall Jackson ordered the surrender of the town, however, the Union commander in charge of the garrisoned town, Brigadier General Frederick Lander, refused. Confederate troops commenced firing from Orrick’s Hill, just across the Potomac River from Hancock. The skirmish continued for two days. Finally, on January 7, having failed to find a suitable crossing into Maryland, the confederate forces retreated and advanced on Romney. The four- day sesquicentennial event will include a wide range of activities for people of all ages. A full schedule of events including dates, times and locations can be found on Facebook at “The Battle of Hancock Commemoration Events,” or on the town of Hancock’s Web site, www.hancockmd.com. Reenactors are welcome.

The opening ceremony will take place at the Hancock Performing Arts Center/ Community Center on Thursday, January 5, at 7 p.m. It will include an introduction by event chairperson, Lily Wolford; followed by a reading of the Hancock Historical Society’s winning student essay; and a dramatic musical presentation by the Springs Chamber Ensemble.

The events will continue on Friday evening at 7 p.m. with the opening of several exhibits including “Hancock’s Hall of Heroes” by Mac Elser, which includes pictures and biographical information on hundreds of soldiers who participated in The Battle of Hancock. The evening’s events will also include a talk by Dr. John Rathgeb on battlefield orthopaedics, and a performance by the Hancock Arts Council Civil War String Band. Saturday’s events begin at 9 a. m. with a 5K Run/Walk starting at historic St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, which was used as a hospital during the Civil War.

Other events throughout the day will include several speakers, authors, exhibits, cannon firing demonstrations and re-enactors, followed by the Wildcat Regiment Band concert at 5 p.m. The commemoration events will conclude on Sunday afternoon with a memorial service and grave Stone Dedication for soldiers buried in the St. Thomas’ Cemetery, and a Civil War period Evening Prayer Service in St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church at 4 p.m.

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