"Gods and Generals"
|VOL. XXXVIII, No. 3, MARCH 2002/FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY, MARCH 26
Our 37th Year Meets Fourth Tuesday, January-November/Founded March 1964
Fletcher Branch Library, H & Buchanan (East of University Ave.),
Little Rock Program at 7 p.m. (Private Meeting Room)
Dues $10 Per Year (Family Membership $12.50) /VISITORS WELCOME!
David Gruenewald, President/Jerry L. Russell, Editor, 225-3996
VISIT THE BATTLEFIELDS WHEN YOU CAN...WHILE YOU CAN
John Malloy, Mountain View
John Malloy of Mountain View will
talk about his experience as a Confederate reenactor in Ted Turner's new film,
"Gods and Generals" at Tuesday's meeting. He participated in the reenactments at
Henry Hill, First Manassas, as one of the men in Jackson's newlyformed brigade.
He plans to be in full reenactment gear for his talk, and will have some
artifacts to show, and some photographs from the production to circulate. John
chose to literally "enter the ranks" as a Civil War reenactor in 1988, and has
been active in living history ever since. He has participated in
reenactments of the Battles of Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, Resaca, Franklin,
Nashville, and Olustee, as well as a number of smaller engagements. This
presentation will be interesting to a group from several levels, and you should
plan to be with the rest of us to hear our own "Johnny," John Malloy.
THANKS TO Dr. Bobby Roberts, Director, Central Arkansas Library System, and
co-author of Portraits of Conflict: Arkansas in the Civil War for his excellent
presentation last month on Port Hudson.
IF YOU'VE PAID your 2002 dues, good for you. If you've not paid, please
mail your check ($10 for individual, $12.50 for family) to CWRT Arkansas, Box
7281, Little Rock AR 72217. This will be your last newsletter (unless
you're on the complimentary list-- and most of you aren't).
PROGRAMS TO COME
April 23, 2002--"Shiloh Battlefield"; Tim Smith,
Historian, Shiloh NMP.
May 14?, 2002--Cal Collier, topic to be announced.
June 25, 2002--"David O. Dodd"; Jim Lair of
July 23, 2002--Subject to be announced; Don Nall of
August 27, 2002--"The Battle of Helena"; Mark Christ of
September 24, 2002--Subject to be announced; Gary
Joiner of the CWRT of NW Louisiana, Shreveport. October 22, 2002--(still can't
November 26, 2002--Subject to be announced; Beau
Cantrell, Oklahoma City. (Joint meeting with the North Pulaski CWRT) What
a great lineup of programs!
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE above of the
date for Cal Collier's talk in May. He and Melba always come down from
Baltimore in May to attend his AF squadron reunion at LRAFB, and we schedule our
meeting around his schedule. (We may have to find another meeting place
for that meeting, as we did a few years back, when we met at the city facilities
out on 12th Street.) The question mark is because Melba Collier is having breast
surgery on April 3, and they may not get to come at all (back-up arrangements
have already been made). Some of you might want to send a note to Melba and Cal,
wishing her well in this upcoming trial. The address is: Melba and Cal
Collier, 720-A5 Camberley Circle, Towson MD 21204. Our prayers are with them...
DON HAMILTON, past president of the RT and a recipient of our Patrick
Cleburne Award who is chairman of the Central Arkansas Heritage Trail, has
received a belated birthday present. Don celebrated his 65th just a few weeks
ago, and how has learned that he has been chosen to be on the archeological
volunteer team at Pea Ridge NMP later in the spring (he'll also get to
participate in the NPS dig at Wilsons Creek NB). Our longtime member John
Heuston (son of past president Charlie Heuston, who, in his 90s, is still doing
well) was also chosen for Pea Ridge (John's schedule wouldn't allow for Wilsons
Creek too...). Two veteran "diggers" (relic hunters) view this opportunity as a
dream come true, and we hope to get a full report from them later in the year.
WHAT A GREAT PROGRAM! The event put on at the Old State House Museum on March
9 was outstanding. A crowd of nearly 150 people turned out to hear Dr. Craig
Symonds of the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis) talk on our state's favorite and
highest-ranking Confederate General--Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne Ronayne Cleburne
of the Army of Tennessee. Dr. Symonds wrote an excellent biography, Patrick
Cleburne--Stonewall Jackson of the West--a few years ago, and his talk on
Cleburne's leadership was also excellent. Another fine speaker was Bob Bradley
of the Alabama Department of Archives & History. He told us about the
process by which the Old State House Museum has received the battleflag of the
3d Arkansas Confederate Regiment of the Army of Tennessee--a unit under
Cleburne's command. The flag had been mistakenly "returned" by the Federal
government to the State of Alabama nearly a century ago, and Old State
House director Bill Gatewood and others had arranged, after some months of
negotiation, to have this rare and valuable flag moved to Arkansas. The flag was
issued in the spring of 1864. Eight Arkansas and two Mississippi companies
fought under it. This banner flew during the Battles of Chicka-mauga, and
Ringgold Gap, before it was captured at the Battle of Jonesboro (Ga.) on
September 1, 1864. In 1905 when the War Department returned captured flags
to their respective states, the 3d Confederate flag was mistakenly sent to
Now it has come home.
A fund-raising effort will be launched by the Old State House Museum in the
next few months to raise $8,000 for the conservation of this flag, which is
badly soiled and acidic, and has several holes and tears that will only get
worse unless repaired. More on this...
THE FOLLOWING news articles were supplied to us by Jim Campi, Director of
Policy and Communications, The Civil War Preservation Trust, 1331 H Street N.W.,
Suite 1001, Washington, D.C. 20005. Website: http://www.civilwar.org
Culture & Ideas/A more civil war
Andrew Curry, 3/11/2002,
U.S. News & World Report Copyright 2002 U.S. News &
All rights reserved.
For decades, the only visitors to the rugged 100acre tract in southwest
Atlanta were relic hunters, who guarded the trove of buried Civil War artifacts
like a favorite fishing hole. Then last summer one of these scavengers noticed
something new in the woods: pink and red survey flags, the first footsteps of a
When Georgia preservationists, tipped off by relic hunters, arrived at the
site, they were amazed. Hundreds of yards of trenches and fortifications, nearly
intact since they were built during the siege of Atlanta in 1864, lay hidden in
a forest of oaks, hickories, sweet gums, and maples. The discovery of the area,
nestled along the Utoy Creek in one of the largest areas of green space left in
Atlanta, was a shock. Atlanta's battlefields had been written off in the 1960s,
by which time development had paved nearly all of them over, leaving nothing but
memorial plaques on the edges of bustling highways. "We all assumed there was
nothing left," says local activist Bob Price. "The relic hunters knew it was
there, but nobody else gave it a second thought."
Last week the Civil War Preservation Trust placed the Atlanta site on the top
of its list of America's most endangered battlefields, together with more famous
sites like Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, W. Va., and Stones River, Tenn. The annual
list highlights the threat industry and housing developments pose to America's
few remaining battlefields.
The Atlanta trenches represent the last remnant of the roughly twomonth siege
that finally cracked the city and dealt a crushing blow to the Confederacy. Led
by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, the Union Army fought through the summer of
1864 to surround the Southern transportation hub and cut it off. Tens of
thousands of men died in the battles to take the city, and trenches were built
in an attempt to outflank the defenders.
Georgia preservationists are guardedly optimistic about the Utoy Creek land.
A cooperative developer, interested conservation groups, and a municipal push to
preserve green space in the city bode well for the historic site, if the money
to buy it materializes. "It would be preserving a part of our history," says
Georgia Battlefields Association President Charlie Crawford. "You could
take kids here and say here's what these trenches looked like. .. . This is a
place where the Civil War touched the place you live."
By: Jennifer Francis, Staff Writer, 3/10/2002
It was a chilly morning in March. The sun was not yet peeking out over the
vast line of trees and countryside surrounding the Cockade City of Petersburg
and the mist of early morning was still settling on flower petals, green leaves
and blades of new spring grass.
In the distance stirred an angry uprising: Thousands of steelwilled men
marching steadily into battle, attempting to overcome the enemy that had so
mightily entrenched itself in picket lines and garrisons near their southern
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee amassed nearly half his army that morning in a
lastgasp offensive, sending his men on a mission to break through the Union
defense lines near Petersburg and to threaten the supply depot at City Point in
Hopewell. Caught in a killing crossfire, the Confederates were quickly pushed
back and the breakthrough was prevented. Within hours, that battle at Fort
Stedman left Lee's Confederate Army weak, devastated and ready to collapse in
the Siege of Petersburg just a few days later.
That was March 25, 1865, and Fort Stedman, like so many other battlefields
significant to telling the story of the Civil War, is in danger again. This time
it is not the roaring cannons and clashing bayonets of Union and Confederate
soldiers, but the ever encroaching world of industry, residential development
and technology that may bring about the end of the old Fort.
"It's a difficult battle between the needs and desires of the modern world
and the importance of preserving the history and integrity of our great nation,"
said Jim Campi, spokesman for the Civil War Preservation Trust. "The Civil
War was the most tragic conflict in American history and it would be tragic to
lose the battlefields and sites where those conflicts took place."
Late last month, officials with the CWPT made a troubling announcement
concerning area battlefields, which TriCity area officials and local Civil War
experts and enthusiasts admit didn't come as much of a surprise.
In the organization's annual report on the status of the nation's historic
battlefields, a cluster of 12 Civil War battle sites located in or near
Petersburg were listed among the top 25 most endangered in the nation.
The 12 sites include Globe Tavern, where more than 5,000 men lost their lives
in a clash to control the rail connection with North Carolina, and Jerusalem
Plank Road, where Civil War heroes Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill and Brig. Gen. William
Mahone went headtohead over Weldon Railroad. The battles which earned Petersburg
a top spot on the most endangered list also include unprotected portions of Five
Forks, Hatcher's Run and even the Crater. In total, the battlefields measure
about 6,282 acres and are primarily spread throughout Dinwiddie County.
CWPT officials said all the sites are in danger of being lost forever. "With
so many Civil War sites under siege from urban sprawl we could easily have
selected a hundred," said CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Real people risked
their lives at these battlefields for ideals they cherished above life itself.
Allowing these sites to fall prey to development dishonors the memory of their
courage and sacrifice."
In some cases the battlefields are still untouched fields, but are disturbed
by neighboring industry, railways and even interstates. It is hard to tell the
story of Union soldiers marching over fields into battle when the fields are
abruptly ended by large warehouses and industrial facilities, Lighthizer pointed
It has happened with the railroad companies and industrial giants of the
world, and it has happened with shopping centers and subdivisions. Not because
people don't care about the past, said Bob Kirby, superintendent for the
Petersburg National Battlefield Park, but because they are trying to make way
for the future.
"Virginia had more significant Civil War battles than any other state in the
country and Dinwiddie had more than any other county in the state. So you have
to reach a point where you admit you can't save them all," Kirby said.
"The trick of all this is not to bemoan or be unhappy with development because
we all need it, but to make intelligent plans to preserve the sites that are
nationally significant for our heritage so that there is a winwin situation."
It is reaching that understanding finding a way to preserve that
history and to have progress, too Kirby said, that has local, state and
national organizations working hard together.
Currently, the Petersburg National Battlefield is undergoing a rewrite of its
general management plan, in part with the hope that it can one day extend its
reaches and protect more of the TriCity area battlefields. The National Park
Service can't do it alone, Kirby said, and therefore must explore other means of
ensuring the continued integrity and preservation of the area's hallowed battle
grounds. One solution has been to form partnerships with organizations like the
CWPT, the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United
Slowly, the two are winning small victories in the Petersburg area.
Just this past December, the CWPT helped to rescue the White Oak Road
battlefield in Dinwiddie. Their time, money and effort helped to keep the
historic site off this year's endangered list.
While the victory is one to celebrate, Campi said, there are still 12 other
battlefields in the TriCities that may not be so lucky.
Inevitably, Kirby and Campi agree, you can't deny progress. Perhaps, the two
said, you can help teach progress and history to work together.
Preservationists try to protect land where Civil War
3/09/2002, Associated Press Newswires Copyright
The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) For Bob Moody and others, the chunk of land south of
Richmond that he often drives by holds a piece of history.
Moody, a history buff and retired attorney, on the way to his farm passes
that land, where the Battle of Richmond was fought nearly 140 years ago.
Other than a historical marker or two, there is little to show that a Civil
War battle was fought there. Much of the site is privately owned, and some
already has been lost to development. Now more suburban sprawl along the U.S.
25241 corridor threatens to claim what is left.
The Civil War Preservation Trust, a national group, recently named Richmond
one of the nation's 10 most endangered Civil War battlefields.
But there are signs of hope, in the form of a twostory antebellum home, which
is located near the battlefield on the grounds of the Bluegrass Army Depot. The
federal government may give it to the county, and plans call for it to become a
And in January, Madison Fiscal Court applied for $750,000 in federal
transportation funds to buy land and make public improvements associated with
preserving the battlefield.
In November, preservationists took the first step toward saving at least part
of the battlefield, buying a 62acre farm where scars of the fighting still can
be seen. They plan to turn it into a battlefield park with an 1850svintage brick
"At least that's 62 acres that ain't going to be developed," Moody said.
"We've got a long way to go, but we're finally making some progress."
Madison County Historical Society Treasurer Charles Hay says prospects for
preserving the Richmond battlefield suddenly look brighter.
"Something should have been done a generation ago, but there was never a
feeling of urgency," Hay said.
Elsewhere in Kentucky, historical groups have made major efforts to preserve
and promote Civil War battlefields, including Perryville in Boyle County and
Pulaski County's Mill Springs. Ground recently was broken for a new, $1 million
museum at Mill Springs.
But Hay said there was little concern about the Richmond site until 1999,
when the socalled "battlefield farm" was sold and developed into a golf course
and subdivision. Losing the entire battlefield suddenly seemed a real
possibility. Out of that concern came the new Battle of Richmond Association, a
collaboration between the historical society and the Richmond Chamber of
Commerce aimed at finding ways to save the site.
Moody says preservationists hope to obtain a few other remaining pieces of
the battlefield in coming years. The biggest single chunk more than 430
acres isn't for sale. It is part of the Bluegrass Army Depot and, although
protected from development, it is inaccessible to the public. Preservationists
hope that land will become part of the battlefield park if the depot ever
10Acre Fort Collier Civil War Site Saved
By Stephanie K. Moran 3/09/2002,
The Winchester Star
After more than two years of work, the Fort Collier Civil War Center Inc. is
preparing to take over the Fort Collier site on Martinsburg Pike in Frederick
County. Standing in front of a home rebuilt on the 10acre site shortly after the
Civil War, the center's president, Katherine Whitesell, announced Friday that
the group will close on the property March 28.
A company owned by John Scully IV, a contributor to the center's fundraising
effort, is selling the property to the group for $500,000, Whitesell said.
Whitesell made the announcement while facing the fieldworks overlooking the
railroad tracks and Valley Pike, where Confederate soldiers fought on September
The rebels faced "the largest cavalry charge in American history," said
Brandon Beck, Shenandoah University history professor and vice president of the
center's board of directors.
It was the Third Battle of Winchester: The Confederates were overrun and the
Union victors destroyed "any realistic hope for the Confederates in the
Shenandoah Valley," Beck said.
"It'll be the number one Civil War site in America," said 87year old William
Layton of Boyce and Washington D.C., who sits on the center's board. "I've been
collecting Civil War memorabilia for over 50 years," Layton said. Some of his
collection is with Shenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute.
Whitesell said she hopes some of the collection will move to the Fort Collier
Civil War Center on permanent loan. She also hopes a library/reading room will
be set up in the home at the site. After closing on the property, volunteer
staff will work out of a smaller building on the site as renovations begin on
the postCivil War home, Whitesell said. "Our fundraising efforts will continue,"
said Fred Stine, the group's fundraising chairman, and a descendant of the
family that first settled on the Fort Collier land.
Stine said his ancestor, Benjamin Stine, occupied the land in the late 1700s,
and the original home was built in the early 1800s. The site became Fort Collier
in 1861, Beck said. Shortly after the war, the current house was built, Stine
said, adding that he lived there from the early 1940s until 1952. Stine said his
parents sold the home in the early 1980s.
Friday's announcement also included news of a $10,000 donation made by the
Civil War Preservation Trust. Scott F. Palumbo, battlefield preservation
coordinator for the Washington D.C.based organization, called the announcement
"a great victory for preservation" after presenting the group with the check.
He said fund raising for the purchase was also noteworthy, because the money
came from private citizens and the federal government, rather than the state or
local governments. Whitesell said private donors numbered over 300. A major
donation of $166,000 also came through the National Park Service American
Battlefield Protection Program. Although the closing is set for March 28, about
$27,000 is still needed, Whitesell said. However, she added the group plans to
raise the money in time for settlement.
As the purchase of Fort Collier is finalized, fights for other battlefields
in the area and their preservation aren't over yet. Whitesell said that, on
Tuesday, the Save Stephenson activists will announce a new nonprofit group
dedicated to purchasing the core Second Winchester battlefield area, east and
west of Milburn Road in Frederick County at Stephenson's Depot. A portion of the
core battlefield is owned by the Shockey Cos. and another section is owned by
the McCann Trust, she said.
Palumbo said a federal grant also is being sought to set up interpretive
markers and trails through 222 acres of Third Winchester land that CWPT owns in
the area of Redbud Road. However, even without the grant, he said the project
should move forward this year.
Preserve battle site, historian urges Franklin
By Peggy Shaw, Staff Writer, 3/06/2002
FRANKLIN James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation
Trust, visited historic Carter House yesterday in Franklin to urge local elected
officials to preserve what is left of the Franklin battlefield. But no elected
public officials attended Lighthizer's morning press conference. ''Franklin is a
poster child for how not to save a battlefield,'' Lighthizer said, explaining
the Washington, D.C., group's choice of the Franklin site for inclusion last
month among the top 10 endangered Civil War battlefields. Franklin, location of
the Nov. 30, 1864, battle, is the only site nationally that Civil War
Preservation Trust officials are visiting to stress the preservation message.
''We're here because the Battle of Franklin was an enormously significant
battle in American history,'' Lighthizer said. ''It's also on our list because
of the tremendous amount of desecration here.
''We're here to remind your elected officials of their duty to help with the
preservation of what is left of this important moment in American history.''
Lighthizer suggested after his talk that preservationists communicate their
concerns to elected officials and candidates at the ballot box. The former state
legislator from Maryland also recommended that local preservationists make an
offer as soon as possible to buy the Battle Ground Academy property that
Williamson County purchased in 2000 for a new library. ''They should offer to
buy that library site, and we'll help them out as (other) parcels become
available,'' he said. Joe Smyth, president of Save the Franklin Battlefield, a
preservation group, said he was encouraged by Lighthizer's enthusiasm. As for
making an offer on the BGA property or any other parcels of battlefield land
that come up for sale, Smyth said a group ''with the financial wherewithal to do
that'' would need to be organized. ''I'd like to see some people come forward,
but I think all the organization in the world will mean nothing if local
officials have complete and utter disregard for the context of the land,'' he
'Franklin needs to stop paving over its history':
Preservation groups join to save Franklin's
By Will Jordan/Associate Editor of The Review
3/06/2002, Franklin ReviewAppeal
At a news conference yesterday at historic Carter House's museum, the Save
the Franklin Battlefield (STFB) group and the Civil War Preservation Trust
(CWPT) announced their support for preservation of the Battle Ground Academy
site as a battlefield park. "Franklin needs to stop paving over its history,"
remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Putting up a few historical markers
is not enough. We must preserve the hallowed ground where the dead of Franklin
fought and bled." Lighthizer added that historical preservation doesn't have to
be the driving force behind saving the Civil War battlefields in Franklin. "You
don't have to do this because you care about the heritage or open space [in
Franklin]," he said. "Do it for tourism. Tourism brings people and people bring
Rutherford County Tourism Council member Shirley Jones, who sat in the
audience Wednesday, echoed Lighthizer's point. "Heritage tourism does pay," she
said. "One hundred twentythree million tourism dollars were spent last year [in
Rutherford County]." Franklin Battlefield was recently identified as one of the
10 most endangered battlefields in the nation by CWPT.
Last week, Franklin appeared in America's Most Endangered Battlefields, a
CWPT report that lists the most endangered battlefields in the nation and what
can be done to save them. The battlefields identified in the report were chosen
based on location, military significance and the immediacy of current threats.
Joining Lighthizer at the news conference was STFB spokesman Sam Huffman and
Carter House Museum Executive Director Thomas Cartwright. According to Huffman,
"The Confederate Army never recovered from the Battle of Franklin. Six Southern
generals were killed or mortally wounded in the attack."
The Battle of Franklin, fought on Nov. 30, 1864, was "one of the most
agonizing defeats suffered by the South during the Civil War," according to
Lighthizer. "Rebel forces were ordered to make a frontal assault against a
nearly impregnable line of earthworks manned by Federal troops," he said. "The
result was a bloody conflagration that cost nearly 10,000 casualties. "Today,
Franklin Battlefield is all but gone," he added. "Only a few opportunities
remain to save portions of the battlefield." "You don't have to glorify death to
remember [those who fought] ... but it's hard to remember them when you have to
look over restaurants and pizza parlors," added Cartwright. "With everyone's
help we can help keep these brave American spirits alive."
Last year, STFB purchased a 3.2acre parcel near the east end of the main
trench line. However, a chance to save land adjacent to the Harrison House was
lost despite substantial public support for protection of the property. The
group has recently headed up an effort to preserve the Battle Ground Academy
property as a battlefield park. "We think the BGA site should be kept as open
space and used as a museum," Huffman said. "We could create a firstrate museum
in a matter of just a few months or years."
Huffman does think Williamson County is in need of a bigger library, but
thinks it could be built elsewhere. "I think next to the new parking garage
would be a great place," he said. Members of the audience were upset over the
lack of turnout of city and county officials. "No county or city officials were
present here today, even though each were personally invited to attend," said
Dan Mora, an STFB board member. STFB is a nonprofit group dedicated to
preserving and promoting Civil War sites in Williamson County. CWPT is a
38,000member nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting endangered Civil War
battlefields throughout the United States. STFB's Web site is located at
www.franklinstfb.org; CWPT is available online at www.civilwar.org.
Gettysburg park acquires site of legendary battle's
Michael Kilian, 3/04/2002,
Chicago Tribune (Copyright 2002 by the Chicago
After years of effort, the National Park Service has acquired one of the most
significant pieces of the original Gettysburg battlefield: the spot from which
the first shot in that greatest of Civil War battles was fired.
The shooter was a soldier from Naperville, Ill. Lt. (later Capt.) Marcellus
Jones of the 8th Illinois Cavalry, considered one of the elite units of the war.
Jones also fired the second shot of the battle. Both shots apparently missed
their target: a Confederate officer at the head of an advancing Rebel column,
according to Gettysburg National Military Park historian Scott Hartwigs. The
ensuing battle resulted in 51,000 killed, wounded or missing and ended in a
Confederate defeat from which the South never recovered. Located 1.25 miles from
the present Military Park boundary and about 2 miles from the center of
Gettysburg, the house and grounds where that 1863 action took place belonged to
an elderly man named Ephraim Wisler.
Park Supt. John Latschar said the service had been trying to acquire the
4acre property for years, but the owners wanted more than its appraised value,
which by law the agency cannot exceed if it is buying property with tax dollars.
A private organization called Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg raised
the additional $5,000 needed, and the land was purchased for $130,000. "We've
added about 400 acres to the park this way over the last 12 years," said Tom
Vossler, chairman of the private group.
The house is on a hill with a long view up the Chambersburg Pike, a road down
which the Confederates made their main advance in 1863. The 8th Illinois
Cavalry, then part of Maj. Gen. John Buford's division, slowed the progress of
Gen. Robert E. Lee's assault and bought time for the remainder of the Union
Army. Jones served with the 8th Illinois for the rest of the war and returned to
the Whisler house in 1886 to place a monument made of Naperville granite at the
edge of the property. It honored Jones for firing the shot, along with Sgt. Levi
Shaffer, who lent him the gun he used.
Whisler became a casualty of the battle. Frightened by a Confederate
artillery shell that landed on the nearby road, he took to his bed and died a
month later. Latschar said plans call for restoring the house and grounds to
their 1863 state and making them an informative adjunct to the battlefield tour.
Despite the acquisition, Gettysburg again has made the list of the Civil War
Preservation Trust's 10 most endangered battlefields, announced last month. The
site, Latschar said, is threatened by commercial development attracted by the
popular tourist park. Among other noted endangered sites are Atlanta, whose fall
to Gen. William Sherman was a major Union victory; Bentonville, N.C., where
Confederates failed to stop Sherman's March; and Chancellorsville, Va., the site
of Lee's greatest victory.
Additional material published March 13, 2002: CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS.
A story in March 4 editions stated that Lt. Marcellus Jones, who fired the first
shot in the battle of Gettysburg, was from Naperville in DuPage County. The
story was based on information provided by Gettysburg National Military Park
staff. However, the DuPage County Historical Museum argued that Jones, a
carpenter who was a member of the 8th Illinois Cavalry, was from a town called
Danby, later called Prospect Park, now called Glen Ellyn. The Gettysburg
National Military Park staff say they now will accept the DuPage museum's word
on Jones' hometown.
Preserving Parcels of Civil War History
Roanoke Times & World News (Copyright 2002)
PART OF the site of Gen. Robert E. Lee's greatest victory could become a
subdivision. The battlefield at Chancellorsville in central Virginia is among
the nation's 10 most endangered Civil War sites threatened by sprawl. The war is
a defining part of America's heritage, and its battlefields should not be plowed
under in the name of economic progress. Those natural, historic resources should
The Civil War Preservation Trust last week released its list of most
endangered sites. The battlefields were chosen based on location, military
significance and the immediacy of the sprawl encroachment. Among them were
Gettysburg, Pa., Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Gaines' Mill and Cold Harbor, Va., and
Chancellorsville, the site of the largest battle on Virginia soil.
Sections of the historically rich site along Virginia 3 are protected by the
National Park Service, but other portions of it may fall prey to the sprawl from
Fredericksburg. If negotiations to preserve it fail, the scene of much of the
1863 battle's first day of fighting likely would be developed into residential
housing and an office park. That would be regrettable. A shopping mall or houses
can be built anywhere. Historic battlefields provide Americans an emotional
connection to their history and offer a rewarding educational experience. They
also have economic value for the cities, counties and states in which they are
located. According to the Preservation Trust, Virginia conducted a study
demonstrating the value of Civil War tourism to the commonwealth. The results
are pleasantly surprising. The average tourist to Virginia spends $288, compared
to $551 for the Civil War tourist; 41 percent of Civil War tourists stayed four
days or longer, compared with 18 percent for all tourists. For battlefields that
aren't protected by the Park Service, the trust buys the property or development
rights. As sprawl continues to threaten those sites, the trust is in a race
against time. Americans should feel an urgency to protect those natural
monuments to the nation's rich history.
LET ME SHARE a personal note. I had the
opportunity on Friday night before the Old State House Museum "Pat Cleburne"
program to have dinner with Craig Symonds and his lovely wife Mary Lou. I
had met them both several years ago at a National Congress of CWRTs in
Wilmington, N.C., when he spoke on Joseph E. Johnston, subject of another
biography by Dr. Symonds. We renewed the acquaintanceship at a couple of
West Coast Civil War Conference (he is a native Californian). One year we
held the meeting at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite National Park. It was a real
pleasure to get to visit with them again.
We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!