Gerald Drake sentenced for planting pipe bomb

Gerald Leonard Drake of Winchester was sentenced to 9 years in federal prison for planting a pipe bomb at the Cedar Creek Battlefield in October 2017.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office Drake was sentenced August 17.

Back in April, Drake pled guilty to the charge and mailing threatening letters with Antifa insignia to organizers, reenactment groups, and news outlets.

During the 153rd Reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek in October 2017, a pipe bomb was discovered.

The bomb was considered highly dangerous to FBI experts.

The discovery led to the cancellation and evacuation of the grounds and event.

Before and after that event Drake sent letters threatening violence.

The 64-year-old Drake was a reenactor until he was removed from his unit in 2014.

He did continue to volunteer at the annual Battle of Cedar Creek reenactment event.

Drake admitted to manufacturing the pipe bomb to instill fear and cause harm to those attending the reenactment.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh commended those responsible for bringing an end to Drake’s threats and people like him fear-mongering at the sentencing.

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Arrest made in the 2017 Cedar Creek bombing attempt

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Federal authorities announced in a news release that an arrest has been made in the attempted bombing of a 2017 reenactment at Cedar Creek.

Authorities have arrested and indicted Gerald Leonard Drake of Winchester for mailing threatening letters, stalking, and planting a pipe bomb at the Cedar Creek Battlefield during a Civil War reenactment in October 2017.

Drake is accused of sending letters to victims and newspapers claiming to be a member of Antifa and threatening harm that included references to the Unite the Right riot in Charlottesville.

The 63-year-old Drake was arrested yesterday and charged with 15 criminal offenses including mailing threatening communications, malicious use of explosives, possession of an unregistered destructive device.

The Winchester man is also charged with unlawful manufacturing a destructive device, use of explosives to commit a federal felony and stalking.

Drake belonged to a reenactment unit that participated in the annual reenactment at Cedar Creek Battlefield until he was removed from his unit in 2014 for unspecified reasons.

Drake did continue to work at the reenactment events as a volunteer.

On September 23, 2017 a letter was received by the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation with Antifa insignia and a warning that if the reenactment was not cancelled the trouble that would follow would make the riots in Charlottesville look like a Sunday picnic.

During the afternoon of October 14, 2017, a pipe bomb was discovered in a merchant’s tent.

Frederick County Deputies seized the device and Virginia State Police rendered it safe, but the rest of the weekend activities were cancelled.

The event was cancelled the following year due to continued threatening letters.

That same year the president of the Foundation resigned due to the tension and pressure.

Drake also is accused of sending several similar letters to Gettysburg reenactments and events.

The case continues to be investigated by several agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Virginia State Police.

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Mosby’s Rangers historian visits CCBF

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The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation is hosting Mosby’s Rangers historian Eric Buckland today starting at 3 pm.

His presentation will focus on the Rangers’ operations in the Valley during the Fall of 1864 like the Berryville Wagon Train Raid and the execution of six Rangers in Front Royal.

Buckland has written several books on the lives of Mosby’s Rangers and given over 100 presentations.

He also has appearances on CSPAN and publications in America’s Civil War magazine.

He currently is the President of The Stuart- Mosby Historical Society.

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Living history at CCBF

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Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation and Civil War Trails Incorporated are hosting the 10th Virginia Living History Weekend from 10 am today until 5 pm on Sunday.

Living historians will have cooking demonstrations, practice drills, talk about the life of an average soldier and try to muster more recruits.

Make sure to stop by the free museum on site to participate in a scavenger hunt for prizes.

Activities will continue throughout both days and the hiking trails and new pavilion will remain open.

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Park Day at Cedar Creek Battlefield

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The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation is participating in Park Day today from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.

The American Battlefield Trust is hosting today’s event which is dedicated to preserving and maintaining battlefields and historical sites nationwide.

Projects planned for Cedar Creek Battlefield today include trail maintenance, litter clean up along their adopted portion of Route 11, tree trimming, fence repair and other general site care.

Volunteers will help to leave a lasting impact for future generations to enjoy and learn from these historical sites.

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157th Anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek

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The 157th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek is here!

Gates will open at 9 am on Saturday and Sunday with the activities wrapping up at 5 pm on Saturday and 2 pm on Sunday.

There will be presentations from speakers on topics like the life of an infantryman, military medicine, secrets and spying during the war and more.

There will also be live demonstrations of artillery, cavalry, and of course, the battle reenactments.

For a full list of events and ticket information, head to

Make sure to check out the luminaries in honor of the fallen soldiers around Middletown as well.

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REC distributes funds to local nonprofit organizations

Rapphannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has distributed funds in their power of change campaign.

Cooperative members are invited to round up their bills to the next dollar in the campaign.

That money is given to various organizations who apply and qualify for funding.

Any organization can apply at

Over $93,000 was donated by member owners in this round of the power of change campaign.

Beneficiaries included Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation receiving $7,000 to build new trails.

Congregational Community Action Project, Inc. (C-Cap) of Winchester received $5,000 to help with housing.

Front Royal Warren County C-Cap received $1,200 for a printer and equipment.

Warren County’s LTLL Global Ministers Inc.-Harvest Mission Outreach Center received $5,000 for support materials.

Frederick County’s Middletown Fire and Rescue Company was awarded $8,028.60 to replace swift water rescue equipment.

Winchester Little Theater Inc. received $5,000 to assist with their kids summer program.

You can find out more about REC’s Power of Change Program at

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CCBF New Museum Grand Opening

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Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation is hosting a grand opening for their new museum today off Valley Pike in Middletown.

The grand opening will take place at 11 am with a ceremony at 10:30. 

The event will feature living historians of famous civil war figures such as General’s Philip Sheridan and Jubal Early.

The new museum will feature artifacts from the battle of Cedar Creek and across the Shenandoah Valley.

Upgrades have also been made to the center’s gift shop, Sutler Space and Heater House vision wall, all of which will be open to visitors.

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