Greetings, dear reader. It has been a few weeks since my last post, thanks to a bout with bronchitis and then a brief but violent encounter with what likely was the stomach flu.
My next post will continue the focus on Cross Keys, but this week, thanks to Facebook links, I came across an interesting article that highlights another effort in preservation of 11th Corps “territory”. Here’s the link to the article with full details, but I will summarize briefly what has happened.
Anyone who has driven Route 3 east between Germanna Ford (the Rapidan River bridge) and Chancellorsville in the past 20 years or so has noticed a castle-like structure on the right side of the road between Route 20 and the Chancellorsville battlefield. Originally some kind of military museum or relic store, I was never sure which, it has been closed for a number of years now and frankly was becoming an eyesore.
The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust has negotiated with the owners of the 13 acre property to purchase the land for $475,000. The building will be demolished (!) and the land preserved. Of course, what does this have to do with the 11th Corps?
As the article states, and its accompanying map illustrates, this is a significant land preservation deal, as it preserves part of Jackson’s flank attack below Route 3 (the old Orange Turnpike). This is part of the land where Schimmelfennig’s troops were positioned on the right flank of the Federal line.
One might argue that this is not significant land, but I must frankly state that any land preservation along Route 3 between Route 20 and, say, Harrison Road (if I remember my Spotsylvania road names correctly), is a good idea. It’s too late to save the area around Salem Church (which has nothing to do with the 11th Corps, but still)… even fifteen years ago that area was congested, now it’s worse. The creep of suburbanization is reaching west from Salem Church Road towards Chancellorsville, and, to my surprise in the last few years, popping up from the Route 20 intersection east to Brock Road.
What looks interesting is that it appears the CVBT fundraising from individuals like us may have a real impact on paying for the land–a $1 donation from one individual may account for up to $7 in matching grants. In closing, I’d like to say that one benefit of doing this blog has been to discover, especially in recent months, the amazing work that many preservation groups have been doing in the last few years. Keep up the good work!