Friday, November 14, 2008

Saving a Civil War Legacy In Va.'s Shenandoah Valley

from the Washington Post. . .

Deal Protects Land On Which a Decisive Battle Was Fought
By Nick Miroff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 14, 2008; B01

In 1762, the Huntsberry family settled the land along Redbud Run, outside Winchester, with a deed from Lord Fairfax. Eight generations later, Bob Huntsberry spent his summers there as a child, finding rusted Minie balls that had been fired from the muskets of Civil War soldiers. He grew up steeped in elders' stories of the day, late in the summer of 1864, when Union Gen. Philip Sheridan and 39,000 troops came marching in.
Now, Huntsberry, 80, has reached a $3.35 million deal with Civil War preservation groups to protect the land and with it, the little-known legacy of a decisive event in the war.
The sale will preserve 209 acres of woods and hayfields on one of Northern Virginia's most significant battle sites, where Yankee and Rebel forces waged brutal hand-to-hand combat for control of the Shenandoah Valley. Preservation groups will add the land to their holdings to create a 575-acre park with trails, interpretive signs and free public access.
Read the full article and see maps and additional photos here. What exciting news. Thank you, Mr. Huntsberry, for preserving the historical integrity of that plot of ground.
I'm back in the saddle now after the considerable distraction of an infinitely important election, and other things. America is redeemed, and I personally feel revitalized. Sitemeter tells me there are still people visiting this site on a regular basis, and I'm grateful for that. I'll try to translate that feeling of revitalization into some worthwhile content here. Change has come to America, and it has come to this blog.
The Shenandoah Valley, and Winchester in particular, have been much on my mind lately as preparations go forward for the 13th Annual Civil War Forum Battlefield Conference. We'll be covering the 1864 Valley Campaign next March in great detail with guide Scott Patchan, author of Shenandoah Summer: the 1864 Valley Campaign. There's still room on the bus. More on that this weekend.