HMDB Civil War Updates for the Month of May

A fairly busy month of May in the Civil War category at the Historical Marker Database.  187 entries and updates to discuss. Since this is the last day of the month, and a Tuesday (my usual day for marker updates), I’ll provide the highlights of markers added since the last update on May 5.

Robert Moore posted entries for the First Alabama (US) Cavalry and the Confederate Veterans Plaque located on the Marion County courthouse in Hamilton, Alabama.

– A marker in Arley, Alabama notes unionist sympathies and the proposal for Winston County to secede from the state – the Free State of Winston.

– Markers in Milledgeville, Georgia note the state’s secession convention of 1861 and a memorial to Confederate soldiers who died at Brown Hospital during the war.  Just outside of town a state marker notes the passage of Kilpatrick’s cavalry during the march to the sea in 1864.

– The lone Atlanta, Georgia Civil War marker for this month notes the extension of Confederate lines in the later stages of the Atlanta Campaign, to meet Federal maneuvers against the railroads.

– In Riverdale, Georgia a marker notes the location of Renfroe’s Plantation, a landmark for Federals making those maneuvers toward the railroads outside Atlanta in August 1864.

– Near Hampton, Georgia a marker discusses actions at Lovejoy Station on November 16, 1864 during the early part of the march to the sea.

– Near Fayetteville, Georgia a marker notes a July 30 skirmish fought at the locality of Shakerug.

– On April 11, 1863, a group of Columbus, Georgia women armed with knives and pistols marched into the city’s business district raiding the stores of speculators.

– A memorial in Winamac, Indiana lists those from Pulaski County who served in the Civil War, most in the 46th and 87th Indiana Volunteers.

– Iowa honored its Civil War veterans with a towering memorial in Des Moines.

– A marker in North Oxford, Massachusetts points out the birthplace of Clara Barton.

– In Detroit, Michigan, a marker discusses the formation and service of the 24th Michigan Volunteers.

– Near Richfield, Michigan a marker discusses Civil War activity at Fort Snelling.

– A recently placed memorial in Corinth, Mississippi discusses the actions of Texas troops in the fighting around the town in 1862.

– A state historical society marker in Lamar, Missouri notes the multiple burnings of the town during the war.

– In Higginsville, Missouri, the Lion of Lucerne honors the Confederate dead buried at the former state Confederate Veterans Home.  Among the dead buried in the cemetery are the remains of William Quantrill.

– Students at the Danville Female Academy, in Danville, Missouri, helped save the campus from Confederate raiders in October, 1864.

Hazen, Nevada is named for Union General William B. Hazen.

– A memorial in Jersey City, New Jersey honors the city’s Civil War veterans.

– Two Napoleon Guns guard the G.A.R. memorial in Ocean County, New Jersey.

– Even Staten Island, New York has a Civil War memorial.

– On April 15, 1865, elements of the Army of Tennessee camped on Regulators’ Field in Burlington, North Carolina.  There they received word of the surrender at Appomattox – symbolic as the site is closely associated with an earlier North Carolina rebellion in 1771.

– A marker near Carlisle Springs, Pennsylvania notes the “farthest north” of any Confederate regulars during the Gettysburg campaign.

– A plaque in Columbia, South Carolina notes the location of the Palmetto Arsenal, which made guns for the Confederacy.  Sherman’s men destroyed the arsenal in 1865.

– After leaving Columbia, Sherman’s men fought a brief skirmish with Confederate rear guards at Killian’s Mill on February 18, 1865.

– Leading a relief force to Chattanooga in November 1863, General W.T. Sherman crossed the Elk River near Elkton, Tennessee.

– About 100 entries added in May to our collection of markers and monuments at Shiloh, Tennessee.  All from one of my fellow Missourians.

– A Civil War Trails marker near Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee discusses the importance of Gibbs Crossroads during the war.

– Three markers adding to the coverage of the Franklin, Tennessee battlefield – Attack on the Union Left, Carter House, and Opdycke’s Brigade.

– A marker in Sheldon, Vermont notes the retreat of Confederate raiders from St. Albans on October 19, 1864.

– Several markers from Bedford, Virginia including Avenel, the home of John Goode, and General Hunter’s June 1864 Bivouac site.  Hunter used the road through Peaks of Otter leading from Bedford.

– A marker in Centreville, Virginia provides details about the Confederate military railroad line extended from Manassas during the first fall and winter of the war.

– Loudoun County, Virginia has a “crop” of new markers this spring including those for the Battle of Unison, Harrison Hall, the Ankers’ Shop, and Waterford.

– A new state marker near Quicksburg, Virginia discusses the October 1864 action at Mill Creek during the burning of the Shenandoah.

– A marker near Camp Creek, West Virginia notes the May 1, 1862 battle of Cark’s House.

– The 23rd Ohio Infantry, with three officers who later achieved high station, stayed at Camp Jones, near Flat Top, West Virgina, during 1862.

– Wausau, Wisconsin can boast the Lysander Cutler G.A.R. Post memorial.  And  Baraboo, Wisconsin has the Sauk County Civil War memorial.

Memorial Day: Remember The Beyond the Battlefield Casualties

Memorial Day, like other American holidays, is often transformed in practice to something it was not intended to be.   The tendency is to use the holiday to honor a wide, broad group.  I’m often embarrassed on Memorial Day when folks shake my hand to thank me for serving.  I usually respond that, “Veterans Day is my holiday.  Today we should be thanking those who didn’t come back.”

The history, tradition, and lineage of Memorial Day has deep roots in the Civil War generation.  And yes, the original observances had a tone which is absent from our current observances.  That is what 150 years will do, particularly as each generation has found the need to memorialize its respective war differently.

The common definition of Memorial Day is to honor those who answered the nation’s call to war (be that a good war or bad war), but did not return.  But what is the definition of “war dead”?  Common handling of the term refers to those who received mortal wounds on the battlefield.  I’m sure there are many who would raise a fine point about the particulars.  I’ve seen “died of lingering effects of wounds received in the war” often in obituaries.  Perhaps making a sharp point of such definitions is counter-productive to the spirit of the holiday.   I’d argue that imposing a precise definition on the term “war dead” serves to dehumanize – reducing the sacrifice to simply some tally to post in a book.

And I would also bring up another aspect of “war dead.”  Not all casualties of war are “blood” casualties.  Indeed some of the most horrific effects of war are not the physical, flesh-and-blood wounds, but rather the internal wounds carried by those who were not touched by a sword or bullet.

Last fall, HBO ran a documentary titled Wartorn: 1861-2010.  The two hour piece received good and bad reviews.  But in the whole, Wartorn did the best with a subject that many have not contemplated, much less tried to understand.  The documentary offered evidence that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has existed through all recorded history.  But as indicated with the years chosen in the title, the producers presented cases from the Civil War through current times.

The first segment in Wartorn offered the story of Angelo Crapsey, who enlisted in the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (later 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry).  Crapsey first saw action at the battle of Dranesville, Virginia.  The next two years put Angelo in some of the war’s largest battles.  Captured at Fredericksbug, he spent time in Libby Prison.  Exchanged, Crapsey saw action again at Gettysburg. But following that battle, his physical condition deteriorated.  He was discharged in October 1863.

Wartorn cited letters and the recollections of those around Crapsey as a way to demonstrate how the war had changed him.  Upon returning home, Angelo remained depressed and disconnected.  He attempted suicide on several occasions, finally killing himself in August 1864.

Although there is some confusion about his records, most likely Angelo Crapsey never shed blood in battle, under the definition of “wounded” used when the after action reports were tallied.  But he suffered unseen wounds.

And those wounds lead to his death.

And Angelo Crapsey is not a singular case, as Wartorn aptly demonstrated.

And looking around today, the Veteran’s Administration notes that 95% of all returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from some form of PTSD.

But we come to recognize those mental wounds differently, perhaps more slowly, than the physical wounds.   Indeed, society tends to put PTSD into the category of “mental problems.”  I find that somewhat disconcerting.  PTSD is not so much a “illness” but a natural, and in some ways proper, reaction to a highly emotional event.  No healthy human being can experience combat (or other traumatic event) without later encountering issues that need resolution.  Such issues are not indicators of an imbalance or illness, but rather that the person is indeed responding to the issue the way the human brain is wired to do. (And for those who wish to explore that further, I would encourage the works of Dave Grossman – On Combat and On Killing.)

I guess the physical wounds, no matter how ghastly, are easier to explain.  And where explanations fail, the imagery of war speaks volumes. The mental wounds remain unseen, and difficult to describe.  Myself, I’ve experienced three wars, and been diagnosed with PTSD.  Yet words fail me right now as I try to relate the nature of it.  Perhaps we, as a society, should start looking at ways to better explain the mental wounds.

On this Memorial Day, I am thinking of all those like Angelo Crapsey, who walked beyond the battlefield, yet were casualties of it.

Great Train Raid Reenactement

Today we visited Strasburg, Virginia to watch the end of the “Great Train Raid” reenactement.

Great Train Raid 028

Here’s a video clip of the procession:

I don’t go to a lot of reenactement events anymore.  And those I do attend, often have “novelty” factors as this one.  Perhaps that is just me getting on in the years.  Just looking for something different I guess.

I know… the stitch counters will come unglued about the totally out of costume train crew.  And the non-period tack.  Oh, and yes, the train looked more like something fabricated for Thomas the Tank Engine.   (But how many authentic train engine owners are willing to have their machines pulled down the street like this?)

Great Train Raid 029

And there were the flags with battles yet to be fought in 1861.

Great Train Raid 023

A Parrott Rifle that might have matched better to the Battle of Big Bethel.

Great Train Raid 036

I would say the motley assortment of uniforms would certainly pass for “early war event” when I reenacted in the western theater of war.  But I’m no authority of the eastern uniforms of the period.  So you make the call.

Great Train Raid 025

But having worked on some reenactments and living history event committees, I do appreciate the resources needed to pull of such.  And in this case, the “event site” was not the typical farmer Brown’s field.  Rather the event spanned a 4.5 mile segment of a major US highway.   And since this was not a “shoot ’em up” event, organizers really had to pitch the event to an audience with more than enough sequicentennial events competing for ever pressured travel budgets (both reenactors and visitors, mind you).

Personally, I’m happy that other folks out there are looking at unique ways to remember events 150 years back.  I can take my six-year-old to this event, and know he will “tolerate” the wait and go home with positive memories.  I can’t say that about the John Janney tour – which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way – that took place earlier this week in Leesburg.

And it is HIS generation, not ours, that will be around for the Civil War bicentennial.  So maybe a mix of clean fun along with the intellectually stimulating is a good thing for the sesquicentennial.  Might help for that “memory” thing we are always concerned about.

Just saying….

Driving the Skyline Drive

The aide-de-camp and I took a day trip to Lexington, Virginia on Saturday. For the drive back we followed the Blue Ridge Parkway – Skyline Drive from the Buena Vista entrance all the way up to Front Royal.  I’ve got pictures now for about four blog posts, but I’m somewhat tired from all the driving.  So those posts will come later.

Living close to the Blue Ridge, we manage to visit the Skyline Drive at least four times a year.  Mostly for day trips.  So over the last few years I’ve gotten rather well acquainted to the park.

Skyline Drive 326 28 May 11
Interpretive Sign Along the Skyline Drive

From the Civil War historian’s perspective, I think the most interesting part of the Skyline Drive is the study of the transit routes over the Blue Ridge.  Often we see the names of the gaps, valleys, and rivers noted in the records or mentioned in secondary sources.  The drive along the ridge line allows one to “touch” those points.

Skyline Drive 327 28 May 11
West End of Brown's Gap from Dundo Overlook

Adds a new dimension to understanding the maneuvers into and out of the Shenandoah Valley during the war.

Casting Tests: More Experimental 6-pdr Guns

Turning again to the chart of experimental 6-pdrs of the 1830s and 1840s:

The last two lines on the chart are two batches of trials and experimental iron guns from Cyrus Alger in Boston, Massachusetts.  While technically not “field guns” these two batches offer a glimpse of the Ordnance Department’s attempts to determine the best way to handle cast iron.

Perhaps the best place to start the story is in 1840 again, with the commission Secretary Poinsett sent to Europe.  According to the Congressional Report, Major Rufus Lathrop Baker, Captain Alfred Mordecai, Captain Benjamin Huger, and former officer and foundryman William Wade visited Europe in the summer and fall of 1840.  The commission observed foundries in Sweden, England, France, Russia, Prussia, and Belgium.  The men paid special attention to the iron handling in the European foundries.

The commission purchased several guns while visiting Europe.  In reference to the discussion of 6-pdrs, the officers acquired two iron 6-pdrs from Gospel Oak Works near Birmingham, England; four iron 6-pdrs from three different Swedish foundries; two iron and four bronze 6-pdrs from the royal foundry in Liege, Belgium.  All the foreign guns followed the “American pattern” according to the report.  The Army tested these guns, along with two West Point iron guns.  The Swedish guns performed a little better than others during the tests.  But as noted in an earlier post, the Ordnance officers concluded the European iron was not significantly better than American iron.

While bronze was the solution for field guns, the Americans needed iron for the siege and seacoast guns.  Toward that end, William Wade continued experiments focused on the properties of cast iron.  In February 1844, the Army issued a contract to Cyrus Alger to produce four 6-pdrs, each cast under different handling processes:

  • No. 1 – cast directly after the iron was melted.
  • No. 2 – cast after the iron was in fusion for one hour.
  • No. 3 – cast after the iron was in fusion for two hours.
  • No. 4 – cast after the iron was in fusion for three hours.

The pattern used, reproduced here from a diagram in the report, was noteworthy for its lack of adornments, rings, and muzzle swell.

Wade's 6-pdr Trials Guns

Wade reported the guns had the same weight and length as contemporary bronze types, but of course to a different form.  What appears as a “band” on the breech is really a thick reinforce and part of the casting.   As cast, the guns suffered many imperfections.  So Wade rejected those and had another set cast.

For the tests, Wade noted that standard round shot had a tendency to jam up in the bore when used with extreme charges or when stacked on the bore.  So he used a special dumb-bell shaped projectile.  None of the guns lasted past 38 fires:

Although extreme tests, these results were not consistent and not promising. But this did set the maximum proof test at three pounds of powder with sixteen balls.

So Wade tested another four guns.  Again, each handled a bit differently in casting:

  • No. 5 – cast after the iron was in fusion for half an hour.
  • No. 6 – cast after the iron was in fusion for one-and-a-half hours.
  • No. 7 – cast after the iron was in fusion for three hours.
  • No. 8 – cast after the iron was in fusion for three-and-three-quarters hours.

The guns suffered through similar tests.  Wade offered this table of the results:

Of the batch, No. 7 survived the tests. In his summary, Wade offered few conclusions, but did compare the test gun’s endurance with those of European origin tested three years earlier.

Wade continued tests with different castings in April 1844, this time of simple iron bars, at different temperatures and fusion times.  In this report he noted results of tensile strength.  Through the remainder of 1844, Wade continued experiments with heavier iron guns in production at Alger’s foundry and measurements of the specific gravity of the iron.  Late in the year, Wade subjected two old 18-pdr guns and the surviving No. 7 iron 6-pdr to hydrostatic tests to determine breaking points.

Alger continued to produce iron guns for experiments after those two batches.  Registry receipts indicate Wade accepted a ninth iron 6-pdr from Alger in 1844.  Perhaps Wade used that gun in a similar set of tests, but I have found no record of such.   Alger delivered two more iron 6-pdrs in 1848 for testing, likely to the same pattern as the 1844 guns.  A surviving gun, with a 1854 date stamp, at Newport, Rhode Island, produced to a similar form as the 1844 guns is rifled to the James system.  Apparently the “form” was good enough for repeated use.

Granted, these test guns were not intended for the field.  But the results of these tests provided the ordnance officers and cannon foundries with important data on which to build conclusions.  Certainly Wade’s experiments aided later heavy guns that saw service in the Civil War.  But in some small part, experiments with metal handling lead to procedures which gave the Parrott field guns the endurance to handle the pressure of rifled projectiles.

Steps along the way to build a better cannon.

Wilderness Walmart: New Location, Another Concern

Earlier this week, and rather quietly, Walmart announced the new location its the Wilderness store location.

Readers will recall the original location, very close to the Wilderness Battlefield, sparked several years of debate.  Just before going to court over a challenge to the special use permit in January, Walmart abandoned plans to build at that site.  The move was a victory for preservationists (and one of a string of victories so far this year).

Walmart, however, continued to look for a suitable site within the rather lucrative market area.  On Monday the company announced they planned to build three miles to the west at the intersection of Germanna Highway (Virginia Highway 3) and Somerset Ridge Road (CR 708).

The choice met with agreement and words of support from several preservation organization, to include the Civil War Trust, Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield,  Piedmont Environmental Council, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  In the Civil War Trust’s press release, president James Lighthizer said  “By honoring its public commitment to choose an alternate site in Orange County, Walmart has demonstrated that preservation groups and retailers can work together to find universally beneficial resolutions.  We could not be more pleased with Walmart’s decision to move away from the battlefield.

But as the Culpeper Star Exponent’s report noted, one organization is at odds with the choice.  Marc Wheat, president of the Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies, explained, “What we are concerned about is noise and light pollution that would damage that kind of experience for generations.”  Wheat went on to elaborate on the important heritage site, noting the German settlement in the area and estate grounds of colonial governor Alexander Spotswood.  In a news article on their web site, the foundation elaborated further, citing concerns about traffic and light pollution.  “We hope it is sensitive to Virginia values….”  Added Wheat, “That’s what we are asking.

As a preservationist, I would point out the support of the Civil War Trust and other organizations demonstrates what many of us have said regarding the reasonableness of the preservation movement.   I am inclined to support Walmart’s choice.  But on the other hand, I have worked with the Germanna group in the past.  They are an ally to preservationists throughout Orange and Culpeper County.  As such, I do hope their concerns are addressed.

When a Preservation Organization Opposess Preservation

If you are a regular reader, you know I have spoken often in support of preservation efforts at Brandy Station, and of the Brandy Station Foundation.

My connection to the foundation goes back a couple of decades, I guess.  Back in the early 1990s, I became a regular reader of Blue & Gray Magazine.  We were still living in an analog world back then – maybe at most the good old AOL chat rooms and a few web sites with the Ashokan Farewell MIDI playing – so most of our preservation “news” came through such periodicals.  I started following developments at Brandy Station, Virginia.  THAT battlefield had my attention for many reasons.  But figuring high on the list was the notion of saving a battlefield from development.

The concept hit me like a fresh breeze.  As a child, I’d stood at Carnton Plantation at Franklin, Tennessee and asked, “they fought the battle across the town?”  The idea of preventing similar development across a likewise important battlefield struck a cord with me.  I was in.  So I sent dues to the Brandy Station Foundation and to the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (APCWS).

Over the years, the newsletters and renewal notices chased me through overseas mail.  I kept my interest, albeit from a distance.  Then one day in April 1996, I opened my mailbox greeted by “Victory at Brandy Station” in bold letters at the top of that issue of Blue & Gray.  Benton Ventures, facing foreclosure, would stop plans to build a racetrack and sell land to preservationists.  WIN!  WIN!

Later that summer I made my first trip to the field.  Armed with one of the “General’s Tours,” I drove about the area.  I’d allocated an hour to tour a battlefield that really requires a day.  So I didn’t take away much more than the recognition of the great victory….

NOT that of the Civil War combatants, but rather that of WE preservationists who “fought the good fight” to prevent another battlefield falling under the bulldozers, paving machines, and dump-trucks.

Years past, and life took me in different directions.  Perhaps with  the recognition of a “win” comes a sense of complacency.  I eventually rolled over my membership into Civil War Preservation Trust (now Civil War Trust), but Brandy Station slipped from my list as I looked at other battlefields.  After all, Brandy Station was saved, right?

Not exactly.  In 2008 while on one of “Bud” Hall’s tours of Brandy Station, I learned there was still more to be done at Brandy Station.  At his urging, I rejoined Brandy Station Foundation.  Two years later, I was honored with a request to join the foundation’s board.  I was in the thick of the efforts, carrying forward with the work I’d watched through the newsletters many years before.

During my time on the board, we discussed many important issues.  But I began to notice a tone from some members that bothered me.  Nothing direct, just statements like “we should just let that go”  or “we don’t want to upset the landowner.”  But I did raise exception when one member felt the foundation needed to “avoid becoming radical preservationists.”

Yes, as with any organization, there is internal friction and some politics at play.  Nothing unusual there.  Personally I just don’t have time for such.  With my day-job bringing additional demands which would prevent me from attending board meetings, I opted for the easy way out.  In December I decided that I would step down from the board, with an offer to remain active with the foundation where I could.

That was a mistake.

As my tenure on the board came to a close in March, the foundation’s board split over revelations about the incoming president – Joe McKinney.   I was at the fore of the discussion.  I asked questions and looked for answers.  What was offered left me with many reservations.  But in the end, I was a “lame duck” member of the board.  While other board members’ reservations turned into resignations, I had the liberty of simply letting the clock tick down.

Earlier this month, my mistake – leaving the board – came back to haunt me.

Early in May, a friend brought my attention to the construction along Flat Run near Fleetwood Hill.  Soon, friends across the Civil War online community reached out to me for details and comments.  So, I contacted the foundation’s board, in the name of a standing member of Brandy Station Foundation, and asked for information.  Little came forth.

I asked for a meeting at the site.  After first refusing, I finally convinced McKinney to meet me.   On site, it seemed McKinney was more prepared to provide a tour of the battlefield and “school” me on property lines, than to discuss the issues.  At one point he even asked what standing I had to ask about the battlefield in the first place (which was quickly dismissed when I reaffirmed my membership in the foundation).

I asked for particulars about what the foundation’s board was doing in reaction.  Specifically – when did the board found out about the digging and what actions were under consideration.  I was told that the land owner and McKinney had spoken; that McKinney had brought the issue to the board (and that was only described in vague terms); and the board was satisfied.

I looked for some statement that would indicate some “public” stance.  I pointed out, while bulldozers were working over the land mind you (!), that the ground in question was within protected core battlefield.   I pointed out that the landowner not only had to acquire permits, but also had to hold a public hearing.  At best McKinney offered a rambling statement about “private property”, “reversible changes” and “easements.”  I went as far to try and collect those thoughts for him, suggesting a “stance” the foundation might make.  He declined.  At the end of our meeting I recited back to him a few sentences that I understood his position to be.  He agreed that was a fair statement, and we parted.

I put that statement on the post filed that day and in the spirit of fairness, invited McKinney to point out any inaccuracies.  He promptly clarified points about when the board was notified about the construction.  So I updated the post.  And I also asked McKinney to reconsider a “public” statement on the issue.  He waved that off again.

Days later, news came that legal action halted construction at the site.  This was indeed good news.  But with heavy rains, the dam (which even an untrained eye like mine could tell would cause drainage problems) brought on unintended consequences.  Further, from the public statements, I had reason to question BOTH accounts McKinney gave me regarding the board’s notification about the construction.

So I sent a set of questions to the board, as a member of the foundation:

Why was this issue was not brought forward promptly in the first week of May?
Why did the board hesitate to act?
What was discussed and with whom?
How does BSF plan to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future?

McKinney refused to answer any of these.  Not even to a member, in good standing, of a registered 501(c)(3) organization.  After all, I’ve paid my dues and donated 80 hours or so of service in the last six months, am I not entitled to a few answers, even if provided in confidence?  Only after receiving several dismissive emails (and some rather derogatory messages from board members), did McKinney throw me a bone.   He offered up the board’s meeting minutes from April 20 – NOT the May 4 meeting that he claimed the board discussed the construction issue.  It was all a ruse to buy time and keep me busy while other actions were taking place.

On the same day, perhaps with emails crossing with mine in transit, McKinney directed a “new” foundation policy posted to their web site.  Eric Wittenberg ran the full text on his site, but I will cite one section in particular:

…However, in pursuing our goals, we are mindful that landowners have certain rights with regard to the property that they own.  As a result, we believe that it is generally not productive to officially oppose common property improvements, particularly when those improvements are reversible.  Also, we do not oppose landowners who conduct agricultural activities on battlefield property….

That statement was, I believe, directed specifically at the objections I raised while discussing the matter on site with McKinney.  In short, this is a blanket statement proclaiming the foundation, and its members, have no justification to stop the destruction of battlefield lands by legal means.

Reading that paragraph, I realized my mistake and failure.   Had I been on the board, I would not have let that policy stand.  I would have lobbied with every known rule of order to kill the proclamation before it was issued.  But when the battlefield and foundation needed me, I was out of position to help.

When the policy went out to the web last Wednesday, I did the only proper thing I could do.  I renounced my membership in the Brandy Station Foundation.  The organization is no longer a preservation group.  I will not offer my support to promote the destruction of the very ground the organization claims to defend.

So ends my relationship with the Brandy Station Foundation.