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Posted on: April 10, 2014

Battle of the Wilderness Anniversary Events

On May 2nd, just before the observance of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of the Wilderness, re-enactors will portray the christening of a child that happened at Mayhurst in Orange almost exactly a century and a half ago.

At that time, Confederate commanders Robert E. Lee and A.P. Hill set aside war plans to witness the christening of Hill’s infant daughter, Lucy Lee Hill. Four days later they were both actively involved in the horrific Battle of the Wilderness where the woods were set on fire by the power of the musketry.

May 1, 1864, on what was termed “a clear and warm Sunday,” General Lee, serving as godparent, held the infant Lucy in his arms in the front hall at Mayhurst. The Reverend Richard Terrell Davis from St. Thomas Episcopal Church performed the christening as Lucy Lee’s proud parents, General and Mrs. A.P. Hill, Mayhurst owner Colonel John Willis, his daughter Sarah and several others looked on.

Mayhurst Inn invites the public to witness a re-enactment of this tender event on Friday, May 2nd at 2:00 p.m. at 12460 Mayhurst Lane, Orange, VA.

This scene has been preserved in a painting by renowned Civil War artist Mort Kunstler. Entitled Tender is the Heart, Kunstler painted the scene in 2007 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of General Lee’s birth.

To register for this event, either stop by the Orange County Tourism office (146 North Madison Road, Orange, VA), call 540-661-5328, or visit www.visitorangevirginia.com. A $5.00 registration fee will be charged with proceeds to benefit The Love Outreach Food Pantry.