Major presevation opportunity at Kelly’s Ford

The Civil War Trust has kept up the pace through this second year of the sesquicentennial. As we near the end of this campaign season, the Trust has three efforts for Virginia this fall. The first two of those target some important acres at Appomattox Court House and Sailor’s Creek. But the effort that has my full attention is an opportunity at Kelly’s Ford:

Preserve 964 acres at Kelly’s Ford (roughly 50% of the main battlefield), where on March 17, 1863, Union and Confederate horsemen clashed in one of the early large-scale cavalry fights of the war, one that set the stage for the battle at Brandy Station and the cavalry actions of the Gettysburg Campaign, and is where the rising young Confederate officer, the “Gallant” John Pelham, was mortally wounded.

Rarely does such an opportunity occur – the heart of this battlefield can be set aside as a preserved tract. Not just an easement or other “agreement” to bar development. Outright purchased for preservation. As seen on the Civil War Trust’s maps, this tract includes the ground over which the later half of the battle occurred, seen on the Google map below in yellow.

964 acres. Every square yard of it contested on March 17, 1863.

What’s more incredible is how this effort will use matching funds. The three battlefield efforts mentioned above (Appomattox, Sailor’s Creek, and Kelly’s Ford) require just over $4.6 million. But the Trust can cover all but $82,548 of that price through matching funds. For the Kelly’s Ford acreage, every dollar donated translates to $113 on the purchase.

That’s why this opportunity has my attention and my support!


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