A Student of History

June 4, 2013

2013 Braddock Road Preservation Society Meeting

Filed under: Early America,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 5:56 am

The Braddock Road Preservation Society has made its plans for their annual Nov. meeting in Western Penn.

To see the program, click here. I attended last year (the bus tour only) and enjoyed it.

French_and_Indian_War_map

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April 30, 2013

Save Land at Chancellorsville

Filed under: Historic Places,Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 6:18 am

The Civil War Trust is asking for help saving even more land at Chancellorsville Battlefield in Va.  Click here for more information on how you can help.

The Civil War Trust is America’s largest non-profit organization (501-C3) devoted to the preservation of our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields.

For more on the history of the battle, go here to see the U.S. Army’s new publication.

Robert-E-Lee

March 19, 2013

New interpretive center at Kelly’s Ford Battlefield (Va.)

Filed under: Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 5:29 am

kelly'sford

The Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, partnered with Culpeper-based businesses and local preservationists to complete the installation of an interpretive center at the Kelly’s Ford Battlefield.

According to The Daily Progress:

Signage, fencing, trails and other amenities are among the additions comprising the interpretive center, dedicated on the battle’s 150th anniversary on Sunday.“Completing the protection and interpretation of this site would have been impossible without the help of the landowners, local businesses and our members,” Trust president Jim Lighthizer said in a press release from the CWPT. “Future generations now have the chance to experience America’s history first hand by visiting this site.”In November 2012, the Trust secured an easement on a 964-acre farm owned by the Woodward family, among the largest transactions in the organization’s 25-year history, with the intention of not only preserving, but interpreting the site.

More info here.

The battle was recently commemorated at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford.

March 5, 2013

Central Virginia Battlefields Trust Saves More Land

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 7:40 am

Just got this in an e-mail:

The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust has added an important new acquisition to our existing holdings in the Wilderness. On December 31, we closed on the purchase of 81 acres of property, which we have now designated as “Wilderness Crossroads II.” This land consists of three nearby but noncontiguous parcels, all of which have significant frontage on the historic Orange Turnpike (modern day Route 3). The property, which lies on the north side of the turnpike, near its intersection with the Germanna Plank Road, is directly across from the 93 acre tract that CVBT acquired in 2009. While it is located outside of the National Park Service boundary, the property is of such historical significance that CVBT was committed to acquiring it once the necessary funding became available. Founding CVBT Board members John Mitchell and Enos Richardson were instrumental in acquiring and preserving these key parcels of land.

This land was owned by William M. Simms during the time of the Civil War, and it includes the site of the historic Wilderness Tavern. During and after the Battle of Chancellorsville, which was fought approximately three miles to the east of this ground, the tavern and its appurtenant buildings and surrounding grounds, which came to house many tents, served as the site of the Confederate Second Corps Hospital. Many of the Confederates who were wounded at Chancellorsville were brought to the Wilderness Tavern hospital and other nearby hospitals. At one point, more than 3,000 soldiers were ministered to on this land.

The most famous person to be treated at the Wilderness Tavern Hospital was Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, who was accidently wounded in “friendly fire” by men from Jim Lane’s North Carolina brigade in the darkness on the night of May 2. Several of Jackson’s compatriots were also killed, or had their horses shot from under them.

General Jackson’s left arm was shattered by two musket balls, and he was transported to the Wilderness Tavern hospital, where Dr. Harvey Black had a large tent prepared for his arrival. Dr. Hunter H. McGuire accompanied General Jackson to the hospital and performed surgery on him. However, given the severity of Jackson’s wounds, Dr. McGuire had to amputate his arm. General Jackson was then transported to Guinea Station, where he died several days later. 

During the Battle of the Wilderness on May 5-6, 1864, this land was again the focus of much military activity. The Union Army of the Potomac established its headquarters at this crossroads, and Generals Ulysses S. Grant and George G. Meade were present here. The land today is well preserved, and it appears much as it did during the time of the civil war.

The purchase price for these three parcels was $575,000. CVBT was able to purchase this land using matching grants from both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the American Battlefield Protection Program, along with assistance from our good friends at the Civil War Trust.

Preservation Map: Chancellorsville

Preservation Map: Chancellorsville

February 25, 2013

Road to Revolution State Heritage Trail Announces Major Expansion

Filed under: Early America,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 6:45 am
February 15, 2013
 
Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

The road to American independence was a long one, built on determination and sacrifice. The ideals of the American Revolution — embodied in the Declaration of Independence — continued to evolve even after the nation’s birth.

The foundations of religious liberty were laid early, beginning with the First Great Awakening in the 1720s and stretching to the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, followed by adoption of the First Amendment five years later. Personal liberties and political equality, both cornerstones of the Revolution, did not spread to all citizens for years. Women and individuals of African descent, for example, did not begin fully benefiting from the promise of the Declaration of Independence until as late as the 20th century. The fight to uphold these ideals resurfaces still today.

The path to political independence — the struggle to separate the colonies from the British Empire — began long before the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. As John Adams later wrote: “The revolution was affected before the War for Independence commenced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.” Adams believed the seeds of revolution were planted at least a decade before, as issues of security, taxation, representation, and political authority stirred American opposition. Independence — proclaimed on July 4, 1776, and completed in 1783 — came only after significant sacrifice in blood and suffering.

Thus, the road to the American Revolution — and the accompanying revolution inside the people — was protracted and arduous, extending into the modern era. Please travel this road, and encounter its many signs and footmarks, around Virginia.

For more information about the Road to Revolution State Heritage Trail, visit http://www.roadtorevolution.com/. Its social media addresses are www.facebook.com/roadtorevolutionva and www.twitter.com/rdtorevolution.

February 21, 2013

Save Part of the Glendale Battlefield (1862)

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 12:11 pm

The Civil War Trust now has the opportunity to preserve 69 acres at three key Richmond battlefields, Glendale, Malvern Hill, and First Deep Bottom. These tracts—each of which saw significant action during the fighting for the Confederate capital—will be added to the more than 2,300 acres of hallowed ground CWT has saved in the Richmond area, building on previous successes.

Click HERE for more information about the land, and how to help.

 

Glendale

Glendale

February 19, 2013

Preserving Fort Ann’s 1777 Battlefield in NY

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 4:06 pm

A Connecticut man who wants to use his property on Battle Hill as a mine said he will wait for a potential survey of the area for evidence of exactly where the Revolutionary War battle took place. But Gino Vona remained upset at being denied the opportunity to allow a Troy company to mine his land and suggested there was prejudice against him, because he is from out of town. 

The three-hour battle took place July 7, 1777.

Read more here

besslock

February 13, 2013

FRANKLIN’S COTTON GIN PARK TO BE OPEN BY SESQUICENTENNIAL

Filed under: Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 4:34 pm

SEVEN-ACRE COTTON GIN PARK TO BE OPEN BY SESQUICENTENNIAL

franklin-park-rendering-1
Fundraising Complete on Five Parcels of Battle of Franklin’s Ground Zero

(Franklin, Tenn.) – The Civil War Trust and Franklin’s Charge have made history once again—seven acres of battlefield have been purchased from underneath of development, and fundraising is complete.

The Trust closed at the end of December on the Dominos strip center, the centerpiece of a three-year campaign that included multiple parcels and fundraising totaling more than $3.2 million. Today, $67,000 in pledges to Franklin’s Charge is all that remains for the property to be owned by the battlefield preservation organization, free and clear.

“Ten years ago, we named this one of the most endangered battlefields in America, and demanded that Franklin stop paving over its history,” said Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust. “Now we offer Franklin up as a national example of what can be done when a community is willing to make protection and appreciation of its history a priority. Franklin’s Charge came together around the need, and what’s been accomplished is truly unprecedented.”

Three houses will be relocated from the property, and tenants will remain in the strip center until they can be moved to new locations. By early 2014, the lot should be cleared, and a team of historians along with Franklin’s Charge, President, Paul Gaddis—Dr. Carroll Van West, Thomas Flagel, and Eric Jacobson—will begin archaeological surveying and research.

By the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin in November of 2014, the Carter Cotton Gin Park will be open to the public.

The Domino’s strip center property is being purchased through a federally funded Enhancement Grant administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, along with funds from the Trust’s fundraising and local efforts by Franklin’s Charge.

“The City of Franklin is nationally recognized for its work to preserve and restore sections of the Battle of Franklin battlefield, and this property will help provide new details of the battle,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “I’m pleased TDOT is able to assist with securing this historic site.”

Franklin’s Charge’s Julian Bibb received the Shelby Foote Preservation Legacy Award from the Civil War Trust in 2011, Franklin’s Charge received the same award in 2006, and is considered to be one of the most successful battlefield preservation collaboratives in the nation. Its membership consists of representatives of the African-American Heritage Society, the Battle of Franklin Trust, the Carter House Association, the Civil War Trust, the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, the Harpeth River Watershed Association, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, Historic Carnton, Inc., the Land Trust for Tennessee, Inc., Save the Franklin Battlefield Association, the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, the Tennessee National Civil War Heritage Area, the Tennessee Preservation Trust, and the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For more information, visit http://www.franklinscharge.com or http://www.civilwar.org.

December 31, 2012

Preservation Opportunity at Fleetwood Hill on Brandy Station Battlefield

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

Cannon

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.

Fleetwood-Hill-Map

September 5, 2012

NPS Battlefield Grants for 2012

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 7:17 am

The American Battlefield Protection Program announces the awarding of 27 grants totaling $1.3 million to assist in the preservation and protection of America’s significant battlefield lands. The funds will support a variety of projects at battle sites in 17 states or territories.

St. Clair’s Defeat, 1791

Included:Ball State University
Indiana
$54,416

On November 4, 1791, at the Battle of Wabash, American forces suffered their worst defeat ever at the hands of American Indians. In 1773 General Anthony Wayne build Fort Recovery on the site of the battle. On June 30, 1794, 2,000 American Indians attacked the fort but were repulsed after a two day battle. Ball State University and its partners intend to hold a series of public consensus meetings in support of Fort Recovery. This project will also amend the National Register nomination to include more of the landscape.

 

County of Chester
Pennsylvania
$58,073

The Battle of the Clouds on September 16, 1777 was fought between General George Washington and Sir William Howe as the British were marching on Philadelphia. The battle was called off prematurely due to a large storm which destroyed most of Washington’s ammunition and forced him to withdraw. This project builds upon the County of Chester’s work with both Brandywine and Paoli and is intended to identify the threatened landscape on this sparsely documented battlefield. These findings, along with those from Brandywine and Paoli, will eventually be used in a comprehensive Preservation Plan for the entire Philadelphia Campaign in the County of Chester.

 

The Research Foundation of State University of New York
New York
$56,194
One of only two major engagements of the Revolutionary War’s Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, the Battle of Chemung was fought two weeks before the better known Battle of Newtown. This ambush on Continental forces by American Indians produced more casualties than Newtown, and the burning of New Chemung became a case study of Continental strategy and tactics for the frontier Campaign. An archeological survey will be used to help better determine the battlefields’ defining features as well as to assess their condition. This information will be entered into an existing GIS in support of a future preservation plan and National Register nomination.

 

Saratoga P.L.A.N.
New York
$21,425
The Battles of Saratoga culminated in 1777 with the surrender of British forces under General Burgoyne. This American victory reinvigorated the war effort and is seen as a turning point in the Revolutionary War. This project will interpret the fighting at the battle of Fish Creek, one of the battles of Saratoga, with several interpretive kiosks and an interpretive trail. Working with the nearby Saratoga National Historical Park, the interpretive trail will also be integrated into other interpretive trails in the area.

 

University of Southern Indiana
Indiana
$60,241

Following the American Revolution, the former colonies were determined to demonstrate their authority over the territory known as the Old Northwest and to deter Indian attacks against American settlers. In 1791 the Charles-Scott Campaign was launched to deter the American Indians along the Wabash River. This project will use a magnetometer survey to determine subsurface deposits and the potential location of one of the Indian villages along the Wabash. This baseline data will aid future preservation efforts.

Full list: http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp/grants/battlefieldgrants/2012grantawards.htm

June 27, 2012

NJ’s New Bridge Landing Threatened

Filed under: Early America,Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 8:05 am

In northern New Jersey a Revolutionary War site is in danger due to neglect:

The site is New Bridge Landing, and funding cuts may have a big impact on maintaining the site, including the Steuben House.

New Bridge Landing was the site of a pivotal bridge crossing the Hackensack River, where General George Washington led his troops in  retreat from British forces. The area is now a  New Jersey historic site in portions of New  Milford, River Edge and Teaneck in Bergen  County, New Jersey. In the early morning hours of November 20, 1776, Lieutenant General Charles
Cornwallis  led a British and Hessian army of about 2,500 soldiers across the Hudson River to New Dock  for an attack against Fort Lee, then defended by about 900 soldiers. Washington led his 2,000 troops from Fort Lee in a ragged retreat through present-day Englewood, New Jersey and Teaneck across the Hackensack River at New Bridge. The hasty withdrawal of the American garrison across the Hackensack River at New Bridge preserved them from entrapment on the narrow peninsula between the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers. Washington continued his retreat through early December, passing through Princeton on the way towards and across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.

See more here.

Steuben House

Steuben House, NJ

June 11, 2012

Civil War Battlefield Grants

Filed under: Historic Preservation,Wars — John Maass @ 5:51 pm

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced the award of more than $3.8 million in grants to help with land acquisition at six Civil War battlefields.  Grant projects include easement purchases at Cross Keys, Virginia ($181,125); Tom’s Brook, Virginia ($25,000); Buckland Mills, Virginia ($3,350,060); and fee simple acquisition at Mill Springs, Kentucky ($90,800); South Mountain, Maryland ($149,000); and Bentonville, North Carolina ($45,325).

 “We are pleased to provide land acquisition grants to help safeguard these important American Civil War battlefields,” said Director Jarvis.  “Preserving these significant American sites as symbols of individual sacrifice and our national heritage for future generations is an important way to honor the courage and service of our nation’s military, especially as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.” 

The grants were made from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to help states and local communities acquire and preserve threatened Civil War battlefield land outside the boundaries of National Park units.  Priority was given to battlefields listed in the National Park Service’s Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields (CWSAC Report).  Funds were awarded based on the property’s location within CWSAC-defined core and/or study areas, the threat to the battlefield land to be acquired, and the availability of required non-Federal matching funds.

 The grant funds were made available under the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-10) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-74), which appropriated a combined $17,967,600 for the Civil War battlefield land acquisition grants program.  Applications for the balance of the funds are accepted at any time.

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