Virginia Grants Over $2M To Preserve Battlefields
(October 2013 Civil War News)
LEESBURG, Va. — Cannons fired and preservationists celebrated when Gov. Bob McDonnell recently announced 13 battlefield preservation grant awards totaling $2,252,663 that will help protect 1,265 acres.
The governor, state and preservation group officials gathered for a press conference Aug. 15 at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park to share the news.
The grants originate from the Civil War Site Preservation Fund (CWSPF) that McDonnell and the General Assembly established as a permanent fund in 2010.
The funds will be awarded by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which determines the awards based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes significance, proximity to other protected lands, threat of encroaching development, and the potential for education, recreation, research or heritage tourism.
The grant recipients — Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, Civil War Trust, Richmond Battlefields Association and Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation — will match state funds either to purchase the approved lands or to obtain easements on specific tracts. All awards will result in the donation of perpetual easements to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
This third year of CWSPF grants brings the total of battlefield lands conserved through the program during the McDonnell administration to 4,587 acres.
The 2013 grant recipients are:
Appomattox Court House Battlefield. Hunter Tract (90.4 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
The last major battle of the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) took place at Appomattox Court House on the morning of April 9, 1865. Located entirely in the core area of the battlefield, the Hunter Tract witnessed Union cavalry driven back by the Confederates, but they held on until infantry arrived.
Ball’s Bluff Battlefield. Jackson House (3.2 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
The Battle of Ball’s Bluff came on Oct. 21, 1861, when Union forces crossed the Potomac River at Harrison’s Island under the command of Col. Edward Baker, a sitting senator from Oregon who was killed. The Jackson House, in the core battle area, saw early morning skirmishing while the family took shelter in the basement.
Beaver Dam Creek (Mechanicsville) Battlefield. Thomas Tract (8.3 acres). Sponsor: Richmond Battlefields Association
The Battle of Beaver Dam Creek (Mechanicsville) on June 26, 1862, was the first engagement of the Seven Days’ Battles, where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee drove Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac away from Richmond. The Thomas Tract lies entirely within the core area of the battlefield.
Brandy Station Battlefield (Fleetwood Hill). Troilo Tract (56.48 acres). Sponsor: Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
On June 9, 1863, the Army of the Potomac’s cavalry corps attacked the Confederate cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. Fighting over the course of the day saw charge after charge followed by countercharge. The Troilo Tract lies completely within the core of the Brandy Station Battlefield. Fleetwood Hill was one of the most contested areas of the battlefield and was also the location of Stuart’s headquarters.
Cedar Creek Battlefield. Island Farm Tract (174 acres). Sponsor: Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation
At the Battle of Cedar Creek on Oct. 19, 1864, Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early launched an early morning assault against encamped Union troops bivouacked near Cedar Creek. The reenergized Union army advanced against the Confederates around 4 in the afternoon and shattered Early’s army. The Island Farm Tract lies entirely within the study area of Cedar Creek.
Chancellorsville Battlefield. Cooper Tract (9.2 acres). Sponsor: Central Virginia Battlefields Trust and Kronenwetter Tract (27.5 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
Chancellorsville was fought near the village of Spotsylvania Courthouse from April 30 to May 6, 1863. The battle, pitting Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s forces against Lee’s saw the mortal wounding of Stonewall Jackson.
The Cooper Tract lies entirely within the core area of the Chancellorsville battlefield. During the battle, Union troops formed in the area before advancing and fled across the property in their retreat. The Kronenwetter Tract in the core area lies in the area through which Jackson’s flank attack passed.
Glendale / Deep Bottom I Battlefields. Mansfield Woods 2 (30.6 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
The Battle of Glendale on June 30, 1862, was the fifth of the Seven Days’ Battles. The Deep Bottom I battle in late July 1864 was part of Lt. Gen. Grant’s Siege of Petersburg. During the night of July 29, the Federals recrossed the river, leaving a garrison to hold the bridgehead at Deep Bottom. The Mansfield Woods tract lies within the core and study areas of the battles of Glendale, Deep Bottom I and Deep Bottom II.
Kelly’s Ford Battlefield. Quail Haven Tract (218 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
On March 17, 1863, Union cavalry from the Army of the Potomac under the command of Brig. Gen. William Averell forced a crossing of the Rappahannock River at Kelly’s Ford during an expedition to confront the Confederate cavalry. Stuart arrived on the field to watch the fight with his artillery chief, Maj. John Pelham, who was mortally wounded by a shell fragment. The Quail Haven Tract lies within the core and study areas of the Kelly’s Ford Battlefield. The initial combat between Averell and Lee took place on the property; it was during this stage of the fighting that Pelham was wounded.
Malvern Hill Battlefield. Crew House Tract (1 acre). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
On July 1, 1862, during the last battle of the Seven Days’ Campaign, McClellan’s Army of the Potomac successfully repelled a series of attacks by Lee’s ANV against his position atop Malvern Hill. The Crew House tract lay at an important part of the Union line during the Battle of Malvern Hill and lies entirely within the core area of the battlefield. It served as a headquarters and hospital during the battle. Union artillery batteries delivered deadly fire from the yard of the house.
Rappahannock Station I and II in Culpeper and Fauquier Counties. Johnson Tract (514 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
In the winter of 1863, Lee drew his forces south across the Rappahannock River except for a bridgehead at Rappahannock Station that was protected by earthworks. On Nov. 7 Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade put his troops in motion in an attempt to spark a major engagement with Lee. A rare night attack overran the Confederates. The Johnson Tract is within the core and study areas for the battles of Rappahannock Station I, Rappahannock Station II, Kelly’s Ford and Brandy Station.
Sailor’s (Sayler’s) Creek Battlefield. Simpson Tract (130 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
During the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, the Union Army cut off a large portion of the Confederate Army from Lee’s retreating troops on April 6, 1865. After a day of fighting, more than 7,500 Confederates, including eight generals, surrendered without terms. The Simpson tract is located in the core and study area of the Sailor’s Creek Battlefield. Fighting between Federal cavalry and Confederate infantry took place on the property.
Second Manassas. Gibson Tract (3.1 acres). Sponsor: Civil War Trust
At the Second Battle of Manassas, Aug. 28-30, 1862, the ANV soundly defeated Maj. Gen. John Pope’s Army of Virginia. Maj. Gen. James Longstreet’s troops passed across the Gibson Tract during their flank attack on Aug.30. The tract lies entirely within the battlefield core area.