11 April 2011 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 2 comments

Regular readers of this blog know of my great affection for the Brandy Station battlefield, and also of my affection for the great work done for decades now by the Brandy Station Foundation to preserve the battlefield. Last year, its co-founder, Clark B. “Bud” Hall, resumed the presidency and assembled an excellent board of qualified individuals and historians dedicated to battlefield preservation. Bud and his board re-focused the organization on its fundamental mission: preserving battlefield land in Culpeper County, Virginia. However, Bud is a busy guy with lots of commitments, and, having tried to re-focus the organization, he decided not to seek re-election.

Instead, the BSF has elected Joseph McKinney, a former Army officer, as president. I have a GREAT deal of concerns about Mr. McKinney’s dedication to battlefield preservation. Here on this very blog, he defended the construction of a huge, ugly McMansion on Fleetwood Hill by a local landowner. Then, he wrote a letter to the Washington Post that appeared to defend the Wilderness Wal-Mart project. Finally, he participated in a relic hunt on the Beauregard farm—part of the Brandy Station battlefield–several weeks ago. These actions on his part suggest that he is not as fully committed to preservation of battlefield land as one might expect of the incoming president of a battlefield preservation advocacy organization.

The result is that eight board members resigned their positions in protest of his assuming the presidency of the organization. That board members who are dedicated to battlefield preservation in Culpeper County were unwilling to remain as board members speaks volumes about why we should be concerned about the future course of the organization.

I will be watching Mr. McKinney’s actions VERY closely, and will not hesitate to call him out if he fails in his stewardship of this great organization. Be warned, Mr. McKinney–we’re watching you.

Scridb filter


  1. Mon 11th Apr 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Eric,

    If such a large number of board members resigned, where did this person’s support come from? I think that many of these organizations just stay within themselves rather than trying to find new people from outside. I live in Massachusetts but travel to Pennsylvania and Virginia at least 10-12 times a year, and would love to become involved in an organization that promotes battlefield preservation, but it seems that when you speak with anyone, they are interested in getting your check for membership, but that is about it.

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