The German Settlement will retreat 155 years in time next month, back to an era when the town’s military unit was fighting against its fellow Virginia soldiers.
To commemorate the 155th anniversary of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of the Civil War, Rear Rank Productions, in conjunction with The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, will host re-enactments of two of the most decisive battles ever fought in the valley—the Battle of Third Winchester at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 and the Battle of Fisher’s Hill at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Shore Farm at 40371 Quarter Branch Road. On Saturday, the grounds will be open to ticket holders from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’ll be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Rear Rank Productions President Chris Anders said there are re-enactors coming in from all across the world for the production, including from the United Kingdom, Czechia and Australia. He said the organization works to ensure its re-enactments are completely historically accurate.
“We’re known as the more authentic re-enactors,” he said. “We do things by the book, everything’s scripted down to how many casualties each unit takes.”
Anders said the organization has put on more than 25 large events since 1995, some of the largest being at Gettysburg with 8,000 re-enactors and at Antietam with 5,000 re-enactors.
Tickets for the Lovettsville re-enactments will be limited to 500 per day and are only available via presale. Admission is $12 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation’s ongoing preservation of the 31-acre “West Woods,” located at the Third Winchester Battlefield Park.
In general, Anders said, the company has used the $600,000 it’s generated in ticket sales in the last 24 years to support battlefield preservation and interpretation. “Our end goal is to accurately depict what happened and then make sure money goes to preserve battlefields,” Anders said, noting that the town would also benefit from the re-enactment through its re-enactors spending $80-$100 while in town.
A re-enactment in Lovettsville is fitting, considering the town’s contrary Civil War history. In 1861, area residents voted overwhelming against secession. The town’s military unit, the Independent Loudoun Virginia Rangers, became the only one in Virginia to fight on the side of the Union, and not the Confederate States.