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Heritage and News - December 2001

Fremantle Gravesite #2 - Congressional Support - Gettysburg: Godori-Trostle rehabilitation - Ball's Bluff/Bristoe Station/Fisher's Hill/White Oak Road, VA - Kelly's Mill Pond, NC - Lookout Mountain/Franklin, TN - Allatoona Pass/Rocky Face Ridge/Kolb Farm, GA - Perryville, KY. (An abridged version of the following article appeared in 'Crossfire' magazine No. 67) By Anne Hughes, ACWRT(UK) Lt Col A J L FREMANTLE The ceremony to dedicate the new headstone and curbset on Lt Colonel A J L Fremantle's grave, in Brighton, took place on the 100th anniversary of his burial, in September 2001. Members of the Fremantle family were present, and the assembled crowd marched to the graveside, including over fifty re-enactors and ladies in period dress. The grave was guarded by armed Confederates, and Lord Cottesloe (Fremantle family member) inspected the troops. A service was held in the chapel, and included a minute's silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in America. The congregation moved to the graveside and the Rev Canon D Mckittrick led the formal re-consecration of the grave. The saluting party fired three volleys and a howitzer was also fired. Mr Roger Hughes, who portrays Col Fremantle, formed the soldiers alongside Col Fremantle's grave and led the party in a rousing Rebel Yell. The photograph shown on this page is copyright of and by kind permission of Mr R Hughes. More info: $11 MILLION TOWARDS BATTLEFIELD PRESERVATION Congress has included a provision for $11 million over three years, for a grant programme to save endangered battlefields, in the Fiscal Year 2002 Interior Appropriations Act. This programme targets priority Civil War sites outside the National Park boundaries. In the last three years, the programme has saved more than 3,000 acres of ground in 12 states. Although the Interior Funding bill still has to pass a House and Senate Vote before proceeding to the President for his signature, little opposition is expected. GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA The Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg (FNPGB) are committed to renewing the historic integrity of the battlefield at Gettysburg and, to this end, work is well under way on the rehabilitation of the Codori-Trostle area of the Gettysburg battlefield. The first phase resulted in the removal of 3 acres of non-historic trees on the eastern edge of the Codori thicket. The effect of this first, small tree removal was immediately obvious, as visitors can now understand how the Federal batteries in the vicinity of the Weikert house could take Confederate troops under direct fire around the Codori house.(Pictures reproduced below are by kind permission of FNPGB) In 1863, the Codori-Trostle area was a thicket with trees 6-12 feet high. As the FNPGB point out on their web site: "The Friends have made a commitment to the GNMP to purchase 40,000 "whips" (small trees) for the rehabilitation of this battlefield area. Only trees that grow to the height of that historic thicket will be replanted: for example witch hazel, red bud, and dogwood." Previous projects have included 3,000 feet of post-and-rail and Virginia worm fence which was constructed by FNPG volunteers in the Codori-Trostle area of the Gettysburg battlefield. Other FNPG volunteers scraped and painted historic outbuildings and picket fences on other areas of the battlefield. More info: BALL'S BLUFF, VIRGINIA I have received an e-mail from Mayor B J Webb of Leesburg, Virginia regarding Ball's Bluff. The Mayor tells me that the development project I referred to previously is not a proposed development, but a project that was approved over 14 years ago. She points out that the Town of Leesburg has recently purchased over 140 acres adjacent to the existing battlefield and has turned over approx 80 acres to the Regional Parks Authority for preservation purposes. She maintains that the remaining acres are not part of the battlefield and the town is currently considering options for a master plan for this property. I shall continue to watch this one carefully! BRISTOE STATION, VIRGINIA Land at Bristoe Station is under threat of development. A local resident, Ms Bobby McManus, is leading efforts to raise awareness of the plight of the ground, which contains many graves. The combined casualty figure for both armies at Bristoe Station, fought on 14 October 1863, is 1,980. Ms McManus says that hundreds of Confederates still remain on the battlefield, and, indeed, many were buried in mass graves in trenches. A thermal imaging search by aircraft has revealed approximately 600 graves in one portion of the land and Ms McManus believes there are many more elsewhere on the battlefield. The developer has offered about 120 acres of land in the Bristoe Station area to preserve some located graves, but Bobby McManus is worried about the remaining graves which may be lost forever under housing - Robert E Lee's words, spoken to A P Hill as the latter guided him over the battlefield in the aftermath, "Bury these poor men and let us say no more about it", take on a new meaning these days. More info: e-mail: FISHER'S HILL, VIRGINIA The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF) has announced that it has bought its first property, protecting part of Fisher's Hill Battlefield in the Shenadoah Valley. The 22 acre site overlooks the village of Fisher's Hill and has been purchased by the foundation in partnership with the Shenandoah County. The foundation hopes to have a committee in place in 2002 to help plan for other battlefield conservation projects at Fisher's Hill and decide how to develop and interpret their new acquisition. DINWIDDIE COUNTY, VIRGINIA The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) has announced that a key portion of White Oak Road Battlefield has been saved from development. The battle of White Oak Road took place only nine days before the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. The approx 30 acre property, known locally as the "Roberts Tract," was the scene of intense fighting during this battle. More info: KELLY'S MILL POND, NORTH CAROLINA A newly formed Committee for the Preservation of Historical Landmarks is opposing development on 26 acres on Kelly's Mill Pond battlefield. A developer is seeking permission for a trailer park on the site. Kelly's Mill Pond was the second-largest battle in North Carolina and took place over three days in March 1865. LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE A two year archaeological survey has just been completed at Lookout Mountain. This has determined the exact battle positions and camp locations for both armies at the battlefield. The survey was undertaken to prepare a preservation and interpretation plan for Lookout Valley's Civil War sites, and covered more than 500 acres of both public and private land within the battlefield. Approximately 400 artefacts were found at 22 different locations. The survey is to recommend repairing erosion damage to earthworks and campsites and replacing monuments, damaged by vandals. FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE Save The Franklin Battlefield, Inc. (STFB) has purchased 3.22 acres of core battlefield at Franklin, Tennessee. The property, known today as Collins' Farm, had been rezoned for commercial development. The volunteer STFB group has been raising funds and putting together purchase deal since autumn 2000. The purchase was finalised this June. STFB intends to interpret the Collins' Farm site with signage and to open the grounds to the public. For the moment, the house has been rented to help pay costs. The group hopes to protect the property with a historic easement to secure the it for future generations. STFB is now fund-raising to pay off the $200,000 interest only loan. Fund raising plans include grant requests to national and governmental preservation groups, various local and regional events. More info: ALLATOONA PASS, GEORGIA A monument to the Confederate soldiers of the Missouri Brigade was dedicated in October 2001 at Allatoona Pass. The Brigade suffered heavy losses in the October 1864 battle. ROCKY FACE RIDGE, GEORGIA The 650 acre battlefield of Rocky Face Ridge looks to have a secure future after the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners announced that the National Park Service has granted money to match local and state funds needed to preserve trench works and gun emplacement fortifications north of Mill Creek Gap. The site has been purchased from a group of private landowners. KOLB FARM, GEORGIA More good news from Georgia; The Kolb Farm Coalition has raised sufficient funding to stop a service station being built on land surrounded by Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. The Coalition funding will help purchase the property and the 4.3 acres will now be added to the Battlefield National Park. Bob Hovey, of the Coalition, hopes the complicated financial negotiations with the site owner will be finished by Christmas. PERRYVILLE, KENTUCKY The Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association (PBPA) has saved another 12 acres of battlefield land. PBPA bought the property, which is a key position on the battlefield. Nearly 500 acres are now preserved. Located northwest of town, these 12 acres witnessed some of the heaviest fighting as both flanks of the Union army fell back to this area. It is planned to remove all modern structures, including a house and outbuildings, to restore the land back to its 1862 appearance. The property will be deeded to the Kentucky Department of Parks, who manages the battlefield, and eventually the site will be interpreted and opened to the public. More info: © ACWRT(UK) 2001


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