28 July 2010 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 8 comments

From the June 28, 2010 edition of Fredericksburg Daily, I am pleased to report another important preservation victory at Brandy Station:

Brandy Station win

Another victory for preservationists at Brandy Station

Date published: 7/28/2010

IMAGINE: It could have been a 3.4-million-square-foot development of condominiums, a multiplex theater, a water park, an equestrian center, a hotel and asphalt, lots of asphalt. Instead, thanks to some generous landowners, 443 acres in Culpeper County, part of the Brandy Station battlefield, has been preserved.

The property, owned by brothers Chuck and Pete Gyory, joins another piece of battlefield land–349 acres owned by Beauregard Farms LP–placed in conservation easements. These two parcels bring the total property in Culpeper and Western Fauquier counties donated by landowners in recent years to more than 2,000 acres. Civil War buffs are rightfully overjoyed.

It’s difficult to imagine a 19th-century field of conflict when houses and shopping centers have overcome the land, hence the value of conservation easements. These leave the land in the hands of the property owners, who give up the rights to develop it in exchange for tax credits.

The 1863 Battle of Brandy Station marked the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign. Gen. Robert E. Lee had amassed his army near Culpeper, preparing to make the march north. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry was centered at Fleetwood Hill near Brandy Station.

A Union cavalry detachment in Fauquier County discovered Stuart’s presence and, early in the morning of June 9, initiated a surprise attack. What followed was a 12-hour, saber-on-saber battle around St. James Church and all over Fleetwood Hill–the largest calvary engagement of the Civil War. One Confederate cavalryman later wrote that the Union attack on the guns positioned at St. James Church was “the most brilliant and glorious” cavalry charge of the war.

The fascination with the Civil War only seems to grow. Motives and methodologies, strategies and personalities come to light as we study and learn. America’s great family feud created heroes and villains and left scars that still linger. Binding up the nation’s wounds is made easier when battlefields are preserved. Now, thanks to landowners, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and the Civil War Preservation Trust, part of the Brandy Station battlefield will withstand one more attack–from 21st-century development.

However, the funds still have to be raised to pay for these conservation easements, and although there is a major matching grant, the BSF and APCWS still have $67,000 to raise in order to meet the requirements for the matching grant funds. Please visit the CWPT’s 2010 Brandy Station Campaign page and do what you can to help save nearly 800 acres of prime battlefield land.

And thank you for your continuing support of our efforts to forever preserve this jewel in Culpeper County.

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Comments

  1. Thu 29th Jul 2010 at 10:00 am

    Man’s bequest benefits battlefields
    Man’s legacy will help preserve four Civil War battlefields in Virginia
    Date published: 7/28/2010
    By CLINT SCHEMMER
    Karl M. Lehr may have departed this Earth, but his passion for history lives on.
    The veteran of World War II’s Normandy invasion entrusted his estate to the Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania.
    Yesterday, the group announced it is donating Lehr’s bequest–with interest–to three separate efforts to save four Virginia battlefields.
    The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, based in Fredericksburg, will receive $53,000 to help preserve 93 acres of the Wilderness battlefield in Spotsylvania.
    Another $53,000 will go to the Richmond Battlefields Association toward purchase of 13 acres at Fussell’s Mill and 4 acres at the Malvern Hill battlefield.
    The Civil War Preservation Trust, based in Washington, will get $22,000 for 10 acres at Manassas.
    “Karl’s legacy of honor, commitment and generosity remains,” said Jeff Gates, the round table’s spokesman. “Our board of directors and Preservation and Restoration Committee determined to honor him in the best way possible–by furthering the cause of historic preservation.”
    A native of Allentown, Pa., Lehr was a 30-year member of the round table who fought to save Grove Farm at Antietam and contributed to other preservation efforts.
    As a technical sergeant during War War II, he took part in U.S. forces’ landings at Sicily, Salerno and Normandy. He was later a staff member of the U.S. Army University in England, and taught history in New Jersey and Illinois for 42 years.
    Locally, Lehr’s gift will apply toward what CVBT calls Wilderness Crossroads, otherwise known as the Atkins property, near State Routes 3 and 20.
    The 93-acre tract figured in both the battles of Chancellorsville in May 1863 and the Wilderness, a year later. It abuts the Wilderness portion of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
    “We are tremendously grateful for this bequest and will use it, as instructed, to preserve dirt and grass. We cannot say enough good things about the Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania,” CVBT President Erik Nelson said.
    “Even before this donation, these Pennsylvanians have provided more support to the CVBT mission than any other Civil War round table in the nation. They are superb!”
    The Virginia trust still needs to raise about $225,000 toward the property’s $950,000 purchase price.
    The trust moved swiftly last year to buy the farmland when Orange County approved a Walmart Supercenter less than a mile away.
    The CVBT tract is crossed by the old Germanna Plank Road, a route that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Union forces used to reach Spotsylvania Court House after the Battle of the Wilderness.
    Julie Krick, president of the Richmond Battlefields Association, said the group was “thrilled” by the contribution toward its work in Henrico County.
    “The Richmond Battlefields Association is extremely grateful to the Eastern Pennsylvania Civil War Roundtable, and to the late Mr. Lehr, for being so committed to the principle of Civil War battlefield preservation, and for having such confidence in our all-volunteer, grassroots organization,” Krick said.
    “We will convert this tremendous gift into more preserved battlefield land in the very near future.”
    The Eastern Pennsylvania round table said it selected the three nonprofit groups because of their “proven track record,” efficient use of donations and the way they multiply the effect of private contributions with matching funds. The CVBT, for example, will match Lehr’s donation at a ratio of 3-to-1.
    “Because of those matching grants, Karl’s gift to the round table has grown to $463,000,” the Pennsylvania group said. “We can think of no better way to remember and honor Karl Lehr than to preserve and protect the historic legacy of our nation for future generations.”

    Read originial ==>> Fredericksburg.com – Man’s bequest benefits battlefields http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2010/072010/07282010/564617#ixzz0v4zek4u2

  2. Fri 30th Jul 2010 at 9:02 am

    Thanks for that, Tim.

    Eric

  3. Bud Hall
    Fri 30th Jul 2010 at 10:33 am

    Thanks, Eric, for alerting your worthy readers to our ongoing preservation activities at Brandy Station–an effort now spanning more than twenty years… And considering there is so much more to be accomplished at Brandy, we urge your readers to become members of the Brandy Station Foundation, as it is through donor funds (alone ) that we are able to continue the fight to preserve America’s greatest cavalry battlefield. Please join via our website… or e-mail me at ClarkBHall@aol.com

    Please know that BSF is especially grateful to you, Eric, for all you do to, personally, to promote preservation of Brandy Station–a battlefield so especially dear to you.

    Clark B. Hall
    President
    Brandy Station Foundation

  4. Fri 30th Jul 2010 at 10:21 pm

    It’s my pleasure, Bud. As you know, and as you said, I love those verdant fields like few other places on earth. Anything I can do to help to preserve them for future generations is a small sacrifice from where I sit.

    Eric

  5. Christ Liebegott
    Mon 02nd Aug 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Eric,
    Not appropos to your post, but I like your new blog format.

    Christ

  6. Thu 05th Aug 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Holy Ground!

    Enjoyed the blog. Hope to see you visit mine. I believe you will like it.

    Best wishes.

  7. Thu 05th Aug 2010 at 2:37 pm

    By the way, I’ve places your blog on my roll.

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