It all begins Thursday evening — the Battle of Hancock Sesquicentennial Commemoration, a four-day event of speeches, presentations, music, lectures, re-enactments and memorial services.
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church is the epicenter of this historic event and hosts many of the activities.
This evening, be sure to come up Church Hill for the opening ceremony and a concert by the Springs Chamber Ensemble.
In a dramatic presentation, the Rev. F. Allan Weatherholt will play the role of the Rev. David J. Lee, reading a copy of the actual letter written by him to Maryland Bishop W. R. Whittingham chronicling details of the church's place in the battle.
In words from 150 years ago, the audience will be invited into a "flashback" to that bitterly cold January when Gen. Stonewall Jackson and his Confederate troops attempted to cross the icy Potomac River to outflank the Union forces who were stationed on a hill above the church.
For the next three days, events will take place at the church and at the Hancock Community Center three blocks away.
A complete list of events is posted at www.hancockmd.com/battleofhancock.htm.
Events on Saturday begin at 9 a.m., and the day concludes with a 5 p.m. concert by the Wildcat Regiment Band.
All of the events are free except the Wildcat Regiment Band concert. The concert costs $5 in advance or $10 at the door.
On Sunday, events begin at 1 p.m. and conclude with a 4 p.m. Civil War period evening prayer service at St. Thomas' Church.
The planning committee has been working on this commemoration for a year, and they hope many folks will take the time to come and learn more as the town re-lives this important chapter in its local history.
Shelling could be loud
Local Hancock citizens should hang onto their hats Saturday as there will be demonstrations of the 1862 shelling of Hancock at various times. Make sure your pets (especially outdoor dogs) are well restrained, and don't panic and call emergency services.
Soldiers' graves found
Research initiated during preparation for the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Battle of Hancock has revealed the probable location of several Civil War soldiers' graves in the Hancock Public Cemetery (now part of St. Thomas' Episcopal Cemetery).
Between 1861 and 1864, at least 40 soldiers died in Hancock, most from disease, some from the infection of wounds received in battle, and a few by drowning in the Potomac River.
St. Thomas' was used as a hospital by the Union army at various points throughout the Civil War.
Some of the burial services were performed by the priest at St. Thomas', who recorded these services in the official records of the church.
For details about the probable identity of these honored dead, plan to attend the activities at St. Thomas' on Saturday.
On Sunday at 3 p.m., the Town of Hancock will honor all those who died during the Civil War, and will memorialize these newly located graves at St. Thomas' Church Cemetery, 2 E. High St., Hancock.
Lego Building Club
The Hancock Library will host the winter meeting of the Lego Building Club Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 4 to 5 p.m. Each meeting has a different challenge. The meetings are free and open to those ages 6 to 12. There is no charge, but reservations are recommended. To register, call 301-678-5300.
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