It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) has just closed on the purchase of 13 acres that were part of Stonewall Jackson’s famed flank attack during the May 1863 battle of Chancellorsville. This property lies on the south side of the historic Orange Turnpike (modern day Rt. 3) near the intersection with the Orange Plank Rd. Many of you will be familiar with the property, commonly known as the “Castle” or the “Stars and Bars” tract, named for the relic shop that long occupied the property.
This land now preserved forever is important for several reasons:
- While the National Park Service holds a good portion of the battlefield on the north side of Rt. 3, little has been saved on the south side.
- CVBT already owns over 45 acres in this vicinity, and this latest acquisition brings that up to 58 acres–a significant portion of the Flank Attack on the south side of the road.
- The property includes extensive frontage (450 feet) on the Orange Turnpike and extends south to the Orange Plank Rd, iincluding 860 feet of frontage on that equally historic corridor.
CVBT Board member Bob Krick has called this acquisition “a spectacular preservation achievement–the most important CVBT accomplishment in many years. Permanent protection of impressive stretches of frontage on both historic roads–the Orange Turnpike and Orange Plank Road, right in the midst of Stonewall Jackson’s flank attack, does much to guarantee the survival of the historic setting. Future generations will find this scene much as it looked in 1863, rather than covered with asphalt, nacho stands, and petroleum pumps.”
The purchase price was $475,000. While that is expensive, the property does include an 8,000 square foot brick building which will eventually be demolished. However, we have been able to assemble a very attractive financing package to cover a good portion of the acquisition. Our friends at the Civil War Trust have pledged a substantial amount as has one of our generous CVBT members. In addition,. we are the recipients of both federal and state matching grants. As a result of these commitments, we estimate that every $1 you give will be multiplied by $7 from other sources. By any definition, this is definitely “a big bang for your buck.”
Please help us preserve this vitally important site. Go to our website, www.cvbt.org, to find out how you can do so.
photos by Chris Mackowski
map designed by Steven Stanley, provided by CVBT