10 June 2015 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 6 comments

IMG_0380A nifty gift just arrived in the mail from my friends at the Civil War Trust. It’s a brick. And I’m thrilled to have it.

You might ask, why? What’s so exciting about a brick?

This brick comes from Tony Troilo’s McMansion that blighted Fleetwood Hill for far too long. When the house was demolished, I asked that the Trust save me a single brick from the house as a souvenir of the fight to save Fleetwood Hill, and this is that brick. I have the perfect place for it in my home office, and every time that I look at it, I will smile, because of what it means. Its presence in my home office means that the McMansion no longer blights Fleetwood Hill, and that the view from Fleetwood Hill is once more unfettered.

So, you see, this is not just some ordinary brick. It’s a very special brick, bought and paid for by the blood of the soldiers who fought, bled, and died on Fleetwood Hill, and by the folks who donated the money to make the acquisition and demolition of the McMansion on Fleetwood Hill possible. And because it’s a very special brick, it will forever occupy a special place in my heart and in my home office.

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  1. Robert Sprague
    Wed 10th Jun 2015 at 11:42 am

    ERIC: Congratulations! I just returned from the Civil War Trust Annual Conference in Richmond. At their banquet, two of these bricks were presented as recognition to individuals who had made considerable efforts to have “that house” demolished. In both cases, the recipients were thrilled . A wonderful reminder of a job well done. BOB SPRAGUE, PAOLI, PA

  2. Wed 10th Jun 2015 at 11:44 am

    Thank you, Bob. I’m in very good company.

  3. Troy Croasmun
    Wed 10th Jun 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Are additional bricks from this demolition available for purchase? I participate in endurance events put on by GoRuck, a veteran owned gear and event company. One of the event requirements is that we must wear a rucksack that contains 6 bricks. I’d like to get rid of my run-of-the-mill Home Depot bricks and carry something with meaning. GoRuck is actually holding an event at Gettysburg over the Anniversary weekend. Any info is appreciated.

  4. Richard Deardoff
    Wed 10th Jun 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Congratulations Eric. I have been a docent at the Graffiti House for the past decade. Twice I have served on their board, but each time left when I saw the main emphasis was on personalities rather than history. Now I volunteer my time because the story is important to get out. There will be some important changes in Culpeper soon – and I fear the BSF has isolated itself from any cooperation.

  5. Wed 10th Jun 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you, Richard.

    My opinion of the current board and leadership of the BSF is well-known. The organization should re-name itself Friends of the Graffiti House and drop the pretense of caring about the battlefield. It saddens all of us a great deal that a once-great preservation organization has become what it is today.

    As I have said before, lead, follow, or get out the way. What the BSF is doing now is none of the above, and it surely is not helping.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  6. Wed 10th Jun 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you Mr Deardoff for all your wonderful work at the Graffiti House!!! I have listened to you first hand at Brandy Station and other venues…….you sir are a wonderful asset to the historical world. My endeavors as a new board member of 1 and 1/2 years is to initiate changes with new faces and new ideas and new attitudes. A new start with focus on the current situations at hand! Salute! Have a great summer!!

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