A Student of History

December 31, 2012

Preservation Opportunity at Fleetwood Hill on Brandy Station Battlefield

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 10:22 pm


The Civil War Trust, America’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation group, today announced the that it has secured a contract with a Culpeper County landowner to acquire 61 acres of core battlefield land at Fleetwood Hill on the Brandy Station Battlefield.  This is the first step in what is anticipated to be a national fundraising campaign to ultimately preserve this site and open it to the public.  This opportunity comes just a few months before 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle, fought on June 9, 1863.

“The Civil War Trust is pleased to confirm that we have reached an agreement with a local landowner to place under contract his 61-acre property on Fleetwood Hill,” noted Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer in a statement released earlier today.  “Protection of this property at the epicenter of the Brandy Station battlefield has been a goal of the preservation community for more than three decades.”Although pleased with the agreement, Lighthizer cautioned that “several steps remain before the transaction is completed and the property can be considered preserved — chief among them raising the $3.6 million necessary to formally purchase the land.”  He noted the Civil War Trust’s intention “to launch a national fundraising campaign next year with the aim of raising the money in time for the 150th anniversary of the battle in June 2013.  Further details of this exciting opportunity — including mechanisms for public involvement and donations — will be announced in the new year, once additional groundwork for the project is laid.

Brandy Station, with nearly 20,000 troopers in blue and gray engaged in the struggle, was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on American soil.  More than 1,000 men became casualties as a result of the battle.  Although a Confederate victory, Brandy Station is often referred to as the battle where the Union cavalry came into its own after years of being dominated by Southern horse soldiers.  The epicenter of fighting at Brandy Station took place on the slopes of Fleetwood Hill, described by historian Clark B. “Bud” Hall, as “without question the most fought over, camped upon and marched over real estate in the entire United States.”

“I truly believe that this acquisition, if successful, will be the most important battlefield preservation achievement not just at Brandy Station, but in all of Virginia’s Piedmont, a region that was of immense military and strategic significance during the Civil War,” remarked Hall.  “Although it most closely associated with the climactic fighting of June 9, 1863, there were, in fact, 21 separate military actions on Fleetwood Hill during the Civil War—far more than any other battle venue in this country.”

The Civil War Trust has long been committed to ensuring the protection and appreciation of the battlefields in Culpeper County, Virginia.  To date, we have helped protect nearly 1,800 acres at Brandy Station — more land than at any other individual battlefield in the nation.

In the 1990s, Brandy Station was also the scene of a high-profile preservation battle. At one point, 1,500 acres of the battlefield were rezoned to allow for light industrial development. Later, a 515-acre Formula One auto racetrack was proposed for the site. However, due to the persistence of preservationists throughout the country, plans to develop the battlefield were thwarted.  Today, the Civil War Trust owns 878 acres of the Brandy Station Battlefield that are open to the public; interpretation of the site includes educational signage, walking trails and a driving tour.

The Civil War Trust has been also been actively involved in preserving land at other battlefields in Culpeper County.  This summer, on its 150th anniversary, the Trust announced an effort to preserve an additional 10 acres on the Cedar Mountain Battlefield.  More recently, the Trust completed a national fundraising campaign to place a perpetual conservation easement on 964 acres at Kelly’s Ford, site of the war’s first large-scale cavalry engagement.  These transactions were made possible through the generosity of Trust members and the financial support of matching grants from the American Battlefield Protection Program, administered by the National Park Service, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Learn more about the Battle of Brandy Station at www.civilwar.org/brandystation.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 34,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, and nearly 3,000 on important Culpeper County battlefields like Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain, and Kelly’s Ford. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the sesquicentennial.


December 19, 2012

Conflict-Resolution-Conflict (A conference in 2013)

Filed under: The Academy,Wars — John Maass @ 9:02 am
Battle of Bushy Run

Battle of Bushy Run

The British Group in Early American History will hold its 2013 meeting at the University of East Anglia, UK, between the 5th and the 7th of September. The year 2013 marks the anniversary of several efforts to resolve conflict in North America, including the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which purported to draw a line between the territories of the French and British Empires and proposed a framework for resolving the status of the continent’s native peoples, and the 1763 Peace of Paris, which superficially represented an even simpler resolution, ceding to Britain virtually all the territory east of the Mississippi. Of course that resolution only led to more trouble. With these anniversaries in mind, the theme of our conference will be “Conflict—Resolution—Conflict.”

There were many other moments of conflict, resolution, and recurrent trouble in households, plantations, courts, and borderlands. Such dramatic confrontations between all kinds of early Americans provide rich material for possible papers and panels. Our keynote speakers include Professor Stephen Conway, University College London. The programme committee welcomes complete panel and individual proposals on any aspect of early American history before 1820. Please email proposals to Geoffrey Plank at G.Plank@uea.ac.uk. Proposals should be sent as an attachment and individual submissions should include a one page description of the paper and a brief CV. Submissions for complete panels should include a brief CV for each of the participants and a one paragraph overview of the panel in addition to the individual paper outlines. The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2013.

Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850

Filed under: Early America,The Academy — John Maass @ 8:14 am
British Grenadiers, 1750s

British Grenadiers, 1750s

43rd Annual Meeting of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850
Ft Worth, TX
21-23 February 2013

The Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850 (CRE) provides a venue for the presentation of original research on not only the history of Europe during the Age of Revolution, but also the Atlantic world and beyond. This meeting will offer a platform for research into the Revolutionary Era 1750-1850 broadly defined, and especially encourage scholars in non-European fields to participate. Several years ago, the Board of Directors changed the name from the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe to the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era to mark the organization’s broader scope. Annual conferences are not theme-based, but the 2013 meeting will recognize the bicentennial of the German “Befreiungskriege 1813-1815” against Napoleon. The CRE also publishes Selected Papers for each annual meeting. For more information on the CRE, see website at: www.revolutionaryera.org.

December 13, 2012

The “Paxton Boys” and the Conestoga Massacre 1763

Filed under: Early America,Wars — John Maass @ 3:27 pm

The “Paxton Boys” and the Conestoga Massacre–250 Years Later

December 13-14, 2013, Lancaster, PA

Paper proposals are invited for a mini-conference commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Conestoga Massacre, to be held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, December 13-14, 2013. Cosponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and LancasterHistory.org, the conference will provide a scholarly component for a broader program of public events at the newly renovated and expanded Lancaster Campus of History at the Lancaster County Historical Society and at related sites in the city of Lancaster.

The conference organizers seek proposals for papers of approximately 15 pages in length from scholars whose work explores the causes, immediate consequences, and long-term legacy of the events of December 1763. We are particularly interested in papers that focus on the Conestoga Indians, local Lancaster history, Native American relations with Pennsylvania, and the broader political implications of the massacre. Interdisciplinary work from historical, archaeological, and literary perspectives is particularly welcome.

Please submit proposals of approximately 500 words, along with curriculum vitae, to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu no later than Friday, February 1, 2013. Accepted panelists will be notified by March 15. Papers will be due for pre-circulation no later than November 1, 2013.

Paxton Massacre

Paxton Massacre

December 5, 2012

What ever happened to the Summerians?

Filed under: Historic Places — John Maass @ 7:06 am

This Yahoo News story tells us:

“A 200-year-long drought 4,200 years ago may have killed off the ancient Sumerian language, one geologist says.

Because no written accounts explicitly mention drought as the reason for the Sumerian demise, the conclusions rely on indirect clues. But several pieces of archaeological and geological evidence tie the gradual decline of the Sumerian civilization to a drought.”

There’s more here.


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