Saving History Saturday: 25 Years — Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District
Twenty-five years ago, eight counties were designed as the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. This unique arrangement allows for the preservation and maintenance of Civil War battlefield land and sites in the Virginia counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren. To date, the district holds 6,600 acres of preserved land with many accessible and interpreted sites related to the major campaigns in 1862 and 1864 in the The Valley.
A recent article in the The Winchester Star highlighted the milestone anniversary: https://www.winchesterstar.com/winchester_star/shenandoah-valley-battlefields-national-historic-district-marks-25-years/article_23c8df2e-0a55-5374-9559-7568a033e0f2.html
2 Responses to Saving History Saturday: 25 Years — Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District
SVBF is a well run organization that does great work.
Much of the energy (and money) that’s going to be needed to save more Civil War battlefield land, is probably going to come from people who want to see their Confederate ancestors respected. (Not worshipped, but respected). Or, to put it another way, if you created a Venn diagram of people willing to spend money and change laws in order to save Civil War battlefield land, and another diagram of people who have some level of respect for the Confederacy—-I think you’d see a lot of overlap in those diagrams.
Saving battlefield land isn’t cheap. Especially in prime growth areas. You’ll need lots of money and lots of people willing to take on the developers, in the courts and at City Hall.
If we continue down our current path, where the only acceptable way to portray Confederates in public is as 19th-century Nazis, then don’t expect those of us who have respect for some aspects of the Confederacy—or even Confederate ancestors—to pay for that. Get the money, or the votes you need to rezone the land, someplace else.
If there’s a piece of battlefield land near my town, and it’s going to be turned into (a) a park with interpretive signs that tell about how righteous Yankees defeated evil Confederates or (b) another McDonalds….I’m picking Option B.