Flags Raised to Defend Key Civil War Sites
Byline: Kristen Chick, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A battle about development is raging at several historic Civil War sites in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania where the battles of Bull Run, Antietam and Gettysburg were fought, respectively.
Two energy companies have proposed a 500-kilovolt power line through the Northern Piedmont region that would run through seven Civil War battlefields, according to the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT). The District-based battlefield conservation group wants to stop the plans and other encroachments on areas it calls "hallowed ground."
CWPT released a report yesterday listing what it considers the 10 "most endangered" Civil War battlefields in the nation, and Northern Piedmont was among them. Northern Piedmont includes Fauquier, Prince William and Loudoun counties in Northern Virginia and Montgomery, Howard, Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland.
Also identified as "most endangered" sites were Petersburg and Cedar Creek in Virginia, and a few battlefields in West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Those battlefields are vulnerable to suburban sprawl, proposed mining operations, housing developments and neglect, CWPT President O. James Lighthizer said yesterday.
The battlefields are "our most precious historic resource," he said. "If we don't do something proactive to save them, they will in fact disappear."
The group warns that the growth of nearby Fort Lee threatens development around the Petersburg National Battlefield.
Meanwhile, a mineral company is trying to expand its mining quarries onto more than 600 acres adjacent to the Cedar Creek battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley. Most of the area affected by the expansion is "core battlefield land," according to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. …