6 Acres at Cedar Mountain

Timed to the 150th anniversary of the battle, Civil War Trust announced a new preservation effort this week aimed at a six acre tract on the Cedar Mountain battlefield.   From the Trust’s press release:

Civil War Trust, Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield Announce National Campaign to Save Hallowed Battleground

To coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Mountain, the Civil War Trust is partnering with Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield on a national fundraising campaign to preserve 6 acres of hallowed ground on the storied battlefield.

“Our longtime partners with Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield have planned a tremendous program of events to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the bloodiest day in Culpeper history,” said Trust president James Ligththizer. “And the opportunity to protect additional land associated with that struggle will give this anniversary period an even deeper meaning.”

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield president Diane Logan agreed, adding, “The property that will be preserved with this new effort is at the very heart of the Cedar Mountain Battlefield. Its protection will materially enhance our ability to understand and interpret the engagement for visitors — today and for many years to come.”

The Civil War Trust has committed to protecting remaining portions of historically significant battlefields, like Cedar Mountain, as a permanent and meaningful legacy of Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration. Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy, one of the Trust’s most ambitious projects to date, kicked off last year, seeking to raise enough funds by 2015 to protect an additional 20,000 acres of hallowed ground. The Trust has previously worked with Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield to preserve 154 acres at this site.

The purchase price of the property, which is contiguous to the Trust’s other Cedar Mountain holdings, is $120,000. Toward this total, the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield have pledged the first $10,000 contribution. While the Trust has applied matching funds from the Virginia Civil War Sites Preservation Fund and the Commonwealth’s transportation enhancement grant program, it anticipates needing to raise an additional $24,000 in private donations to complete this acquisition. More information about the fundraising campaign is available at www.civilwar.org/cedarmountain12. …

The Trust’s battle page for Cedar Mountain provides several resources for those unfamiliar with this battle, which signaled the start of the Northern Virginia (a.k.a. Second Manassas) campaign.

Gary Adelman’s superb photo interpretation once again allows those black and white images to speak, fifteen decades removed from the uncovered lens.

Towards Crittenden Gate - 1862

When considering preservation efforts, I’ve sometimes heard a line akin to – “Oh, but that was on the periphery of the battlefield… it isn’t that important.”  Well, there are the six targeted acres as they looked during the war.  Not hard to figure out how those six acres factored into the battle.

In addition to this preservation effort, there are several other sesquicentennial events in Culpeper to mark the battle of Cedar Mountain from August 3-12.  The stage adaptation of “Marching Through Culpeper” premiered on Friday, with shows running nightly.  There are walking tours of downtown Culpeper on August 4 and 11.  However the event I would most like to attend (but likely will be tied down at work) is the Cedar Mountain symposium at Germanna Community College on August 9.  Historians Todd Berkoff, Clark B. “Bud” Hall, Greg Mertz, Nicholas Picerno and Jeffry Wert  are speakers at this event.  For more details visit www.friendsofcedarmountain.org.