As one of its first battlefield preservation campaigns of 2020, the American Battlefield Trust is aiming to save over 600 acres of hallowed ground at four major battlefields – all in Virginia. Cedar Creek, Cedar Mountain, Sailor’s Creek, and Ware Bottom Church all have vital acreage needing to be preserved.
At the heavily-threatened Cedar Creek battlefield, the Trust is trying to save roughly 30 acres on two tracts in order to “tell the story of one of the riskiest approach marches attempted during the Civil War and that of a surprise Confederate attack that broke the Union line.”
Also at great risk of development is Cedar Mountain. Luckily, as a part of this campaign, the Trust can save several acres associated with both opening and closing hours of the fight there. In a campaign letter to their members, the Trust expanded on what actually occurred on the target property, “Union troops advanced toward Jackson’s Confederates, as well as the closing hours of the fight, as the victorious but exhausted Confederates pursued the remnants of Banks’ corps across this land.”
The largest tract of land the Trust is pursuing in this campaign is at Sailor’s Creek with over 430 acres at the Lockett Farm property. “On April 6, the Union Second Corps attacked the Confederate wagon train near the farm of James Lockett, at the Sailor’s Creek crossing. Gordon’s troops sought to defend their critical supplies, and fighting continued around the house, resulting in heavy losses for what was a brief battle,” the Trust notes on their website. This will be a major addition to the Sailor’s Creek battlefield and will keep the threatened battlefield preserved for generations.
Finally, there are 53 acres of battlefield land at Ware Bottom Church, the last major section needed to be preserved there. The Trust has the “chance to add a very large piece of the battlefield to an existing local Civil War park, and one that contains some of the most pristine earthwork gun emplacements existing on any battlefield anywhere!”
This is a significant opportunity for preservationists to help save 600 acres at four major Virginia battlefields – all threatened by urban sprawl. For more information about this major American Battlefield Trust campaign and to donate, please click here.