Mission: Waynesboro At War is dedicated to organizing and presenting Civil War related educational events such as lectures, living history displays and battle reenactments. Waynesboro At War will engage in educational activities aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of historical issues, to ensure that Civil War education becomes – and remains – a priority for current and future generations.
Community Need: Over the past four years, Waynesboro City Schools have performed poorly on the history-related components of the SOL tests. The results from the Virginia Department of Education reports scores consistently below an 80% pass rate. Waynesboro At War programs are intended to help foster an interest in Virginia and local history that will translate into students having a better understanding of the community’s history and are able to score higher on the SOL’s. Their long-range goal of an interpretive site will also foster city tourism and provide a permanent, visible discussion of the local history.
Constituents Served: Services provided by Waynesboro at War are available to all. Last year they had over 100 people attend four presentations offered in conjunction with the Augusta County Civil War Roundtable, most of the attendees were primarily from Augusta County. They also had over 500 people attend their annual Civil War Weekend. There were three countries and 12 states represented.
Primary Activities: Waynesboro At War conducts research into Civil War era issues pertinent to Waynesboro and its surrounding area and creates ways to present their findings to the public. Their presentations are typically made through lectures and living history events. However, several of their projects will culminate in publications as well.
This year, Waynesboro At War, is working to establish a list of slaves and freedmen who lived in Waynesboro, the occupations held by the freedmen, the post-war status of the slaves, and trying to link them with present-day descendants. Also, they are working on a Civil War hymnology project which will establish which tunes were most likely associated with 30 hymns that were prevalent during the era.
They also hope to author a work on the life of George Bliss, the Rhode Island cavalry captain who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Waynesboro in September, 1864. Their findings and publications will premiere at the September Civil War Weekend in Waynesboro.
Some of their greatest accomplishments last year were the deepening of community relationships, the outreach to an international audience, the discovery of untapped records relating to the Waynesboro slave population, and being approached by larger, older organizations for assistance.
Amount Requested: $3,000
Operating Budget: $6,700