31 December 2012 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 6 comments

The Brandy Station Foundation has finally issued a statement about the purchase contract for Fleetwood Hill:


It is my pleasure to inform you that on December 19, the Civil War Trust and Mr. Joseph A. Troilo, Jr., reached agreement for the Trust to purchase Tony Troilo’s fifty-seven acre property at the southern end of Fleetwood Hill. A link to an article from the December 21 edition of the Culpeper Star-Exponent is:


This agreement is the culmination of more than twenty years preservation efforts in Culpeper County. However, major work remains: now the Trust must raise $3.6 million to pay for the property. We encourage you to support the Trust with your generous donations. Also, as you know, we are holding a ball at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford on the evening of March 16, 2013, to commemorate the Battle of Kelly’s Ford. We will donate one-half of the proceeds from the ball to the Trust. So, come to the ball, have a good time, and help pay for Fleetwood Hill.

Joseph McKinney

President, Brandy Station Foundation

Let’s not break our arms patting ourselves on the back, shall we?

Let’s remember that this is the same organization that stood by and did NOTHING when Troilo started digging his recreational lake, even though McKinney had advance knowledge that he was going to do so. Let’s remember that this is the same organization that issued a statement saying that it’s okay if a local landowner wants to dig up the battlefield for his or her own purposes. And most importantly, this is the same organization that sat on its hands and did NOTHING for months while this critical parcel of land was listed for sale with a realtor. It did NOTHING to arrange for the land to be appraised, and it did NOTHING to negotiate a deal with the Civil War Trust.

In short, the BSF has once again proved the truth of what I’ve been saying here all along: the current, incompetent leadership of the BSF is not interested in battlefield preservation, and its incompetent leadership has rendered the organization entirely irrelevant.

So, while I applaud Useless Joe McKinney and the Board of Appeasers for getting on the train once it had already left the station, the fact that it wasn’t the original passenger on the train is what I find terribly troubling. You should too.

Scridb filter


  1. Todd Berkoff
    Mon 31st Dec 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Eric, great post. Your points here are important for all to read and understand. We cannot let these appeasers and Sunshine Preservationists take credit for the hard-won efforts of the CWT management and Bud Hall for this victory.

    The BSF can go back to arranging ghost tours of the Grafitti House and supporting ridiculous Civil War musicals.

  2. Ms. Havilland
    Wed 02nd Jan 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Ok, boys. I’m wondering why you can’t all act like gentlemen and stop the useless bickering? You are, after all, on the same side here. You may have different views or ideas about how to get there, but at the end of the day, you all stand for the same thing. I’m not the only person that is quite fed up with your negativity and inability to cooperate and work well with others. It seems to me that Mr. McKinney achieved the very thing that you wanted and he acted in a very diplomatic manner in reaching this goal. Mr. McKinney is a person who realizes that the citizens/land owners of Brandy Station and historic preservationists must work and live together for many years to come, so burning bridges and speaking ill of others is not the best way to get things done. I would have a lot more respect for you if you actually got off your high horse and attempted to work together with your fellow historians intead of berating them. Your energy would be much better spent doing something positive. Maybe that could be your New Year’s resolution for 2013? I say kudos to Mr. McKinney for his hard work bargaining this deal. YOU should be patting him on the back, apologizing for your poor behavior, and turning over a new leaf to work together to preserve historic grounds in the future.

  3. Wed 02nd Jan 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Had Useless Joe done anything at all “bargaining this deal”, which he did not do under any circumstances, I would gladly acknowledge the contribution. But that’s just it–he did NOTHING. Why? Because he’s not interested in preserving the battlefield.

    As for apologizing, I have nothing to apologize for. I’m not the one who, in spite of having advance knowledge it was going to happen, stood there twiddling my thumbs while the most important part of the battlefield was dug up to build an illegal lake. I’ve simply reported things as they have occurred, telling the truth, ugly as it may be.

    And for that, I will never apologize.

    If Useless Joe and the Board of Appeasers want to demonstrate to us that they actually care about anything other than ghost hunting and the Graffiti House, then we will be happy to work with them. However, given the prior track record, I certainly am not holding my breath….

    And as for your opinion, you’re entitled to it, just as I am entitled to ignore it. As long as I have a reason to point out malfeasance or, worse, a complete lack of action when action is called for, I will continue to point out how this man and his board of appeasers have rendered the BSF entirely irrelevant. Almost as irrelevant as I find your opinion, which is to say, “completely irrelevant.”

  4. Todd Berkoff
    Wed 02nd Jan 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Ms. Havilland –

    You missed the very point of this entire discussion. The BSF Board–with Joe McKinney at the helm–not only stood by as Fleetwood Hill was flooded last year, but it told its membership in a press release that it was acceptable for landowners to violate federal and state law. Some of us had thought we were all on the “same side” until the Board actively worked against those who wished to protect the Hill from destruction. See here, http://www.brandystationfoundation.com/position.htm

    And now the Board is taking credit for saving the Hill?!? Please.

    I’m going to presume you are working via proxy for the McKinney’s here so I will talk slowly. You obviously do not know the backstory on the Lake Troilo controversy or what has transpired since that time. I suggest reading the news and earlier posts on this and other blogs.

    You are out of your league and completely ignorant of the facts.

    Todd Berkoff

  5. Wed 02nd Jan 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Ms. Havilland,
    You said, “I say kudos to Mr. McKinney for his hard work bargaining this deal.”

    Since you seem to know about this topic, what exactly did Mr. McKinney do in order to broker this deal?

    In the interest of fairness, I’m sure Eric would be willing to allow a full accounting of that activity, should you provide.

  6. Wed 02nd Jan 2013 at 10:46 pm


    Of course I would. I’ve offered to allow Mr. McKinney to tell his side of the story–with no editing or censoring by me–multiple times, but he lacks the moral courage to do so. That offer remains open.


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