"History is among our most cherished treasures. Learning it however means nothing if we can't apply it to our lives today in some tangible, positive manner. That is the basis for everything I do. And that's why stories like Sgt. Kirkland's deserve to be told." - Michael Aubrecht


COMING SOON: Battlefield Blessings: The Angel of Marye's Heights Tour
Walking tour and presentation by local Christian author and historian Michael Aubrecht

On the morning of December 14th, 1862, Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina Infantry looked out over the field at Fredericksburg and was appalled by what he saw. The day before, wave after wave of courageous Federal troops had charged into the deadly massed fire of the Army of Northern Virginia, which was entrenched on a sunken road, behind a stonewall. The results were dreadful, and had left a sea of bloody, blue-uniformed dead and wounded on the slope leading to Marye's Heights. Hour after hour, the cries of the dying filled the air with a nauseating symphony of suffering. What happened next stopped the entire Civil War in its tracks, if only for a moment. Join Michael Aubrecht for a private, Christian-based tour at the site of this mission of mercy.

This special program includes a walking tour of the stone wall and field, an "Angel of Marye's Heights" presentation at the Kirkland Monument (including a reading of Sgt. Kirkland's personal letters), a correlation of acts to Biblical scripture, and a special prayer service at the nearby National Cemetery. This 1-hour program will be both educational and inspirational as we hear how God's presence can be found in the midst of war. Following the tour, attendees may visit the adjacent museum or walk the hallowed grounds.

This subject is one that has been repeated a few times in my work, the inspirational story of Sergeant Richard Kirkland. "The Angel of Marye's Heights" has made appearances in my devotional The Southern Cross, my presentation Faith Under Fire, and in an article on compassion and charity that I penned for the SPC Post. This walking-tour however is an expansion of the story to include the reading of personal letters, as well as the rest of this extraordinary soldier's life up to and including his death. By taking the audience there and positioning them on the field near the site of the actual event, as well as in the shadow of the great monument that stands today in homage to the act, I strive to present the Christian courage and conviction that Sgt. Kirkland possessed. Associated scripture passages will also be offered to correlate his act of kindness with God's Holy Word. A Puritan historian recently stated in a discussion on the theology of forgiveness that "I see Kirkland's downhill leap over the stonewall as a veritable leap into the 'valley of the shadow of death.'" I could not agree more.

Tours meet at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor's Center.
Directions: Visit www.nps.gov/archive/frsp/vc.htm for more information.
Time: Approximately 1 hour. (Some short distance walking to monument and hilltop cemetery)
Admission: Adult: $25, Child (15-): $12.50 (minimum of $150) Signed books will also be available.
Hours: By appointment only, minimum booking two-weeks prior to the event.

EMAIL for more information on booking this one-of-a-kind experience.

Virginia historian, Michael Aubrecht, has dedicated his studies primarily to the role of Christianity during the Civil War. He is the author of numerous articles and books on the subject including Onward Christian Soldier: The Spiritual Journey of Stonewall, Christian Cavalier: The Spiritual Legacy of JEB Stuart, and The Southern Cross: A Civil War Devotional. He is currently working on a regional book for The History Press titled Houses of the Holy: Historic Churches of Fredericksburg. For more, visit his website at www.pinstripepress.net.

Copyright 2007 - Michael Aubrecht / Pinstripe Press