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Heritage & News - December 2008

(Reproduced from 'Crossfire' No 88 - Dec. 2008)

Cedar Creek

As many of you know, the fate of the Cedar Creek Battlefield remains in doubt. In May, the Frederick County Board of Supervisors voted to allow limestone mining on nearly 400 acres of core battlefield land. As a result of this vote, Carmeuse Lime and Stone is poised to begin mining operations that will obliterate this part of the battlefield forever.

Fortunately, there is still time to make your voice heard and let Carmeuse know that this land should be preserved for future generations to visit and enjoy.

Please visit the new Cedar Creek and Belle Grove Coalition website to learn more about this shocking proposal to transform a once tranquil battlefield into a gaping hole in the Earth. The new website includes materials about the mining plan, along with an animated map that demonstrates the devastating impact this proposal will have on the Cedar Creek Battlefield.

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about this destructive mining proposal. As always, we appreciate your support for battlefield preservation.

Cordially, Jim Campi

P.S.: Don't let anyone tell you this mining proposal is a "done deal." There is still an opportunity to prevent this travesty if concerned supporters such as yourself are willing to fight for Cedar Creek!

Visit the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove Coalition website at

Channel 4 Newscast

On the eve of the US election, the Channel 4, broadcast their evening news live from the back portico of the White House of the Confederacy. The White House was included in a series of historic locations in swing states being filmed during election coverage, including Philadelphia's Independence Hall. Anchor Jon Snow interviewed several people including Richmond Mayor Douglas Wilder, Professor Oliver Hill Jr., Senate Aide Brandon Andrews, and broadcaster Blanquita Cullum. You can watch the Channel 4 segment online at

Gettysburg Witness Tree falls

On the afternoon of August 7, 2008, a sudden storm caused severe damage to a Honey Locust tree in the Soldier's National Cemetery, within Gettysburg National Military Park. The tree is one of many "Witness Trees" within the park - so called because they have been living since before the 1863 civil war battle and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

"The good news is that - despite some reports to the contrary - the tree was not entirely destroyed," said park Superintendent John A. Latschar. "Some of the main trunk and several living branches were unharmed. The Honey Locust is a resilient tree, and we have high hopes that it will live."

A number of Witness Trees on the Gettysburg battlefield have been well known and frequently pointed out for years during battlefield tours. In addition, a number of previously unknown Witness Trees have been identified

by the National Park Service during preparatory work for the park's battlefield rehabilitation efforts.

The National Park Service has donated wood from the Honey Locust's storm damage to the park's non-profit partner, the Gettysburg Foundation. The Foundation is exploring ways to use the wood to raise money for Gettysburg battlefield preservation. To learn more, visit the Gettysburg Foundation's website:

More Gettysburg

An awe-inspiring experience, the new Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park celebrated its grand opening on September 26, 2008. This 139,000-square foot introduction to the Battlefield includes the newly conserved Gettysburg Cyclorama experience, the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, a breathtaking film (A New Birth of Freedom), and space for education, meetings, research and curatorial services. The opening of the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park is an Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission endorsed project. And all this for $7.50 per person. And you can get hardtack at the Refreshment Saloon.

More Battlefield Land to Be Protected at Third Winchester

(Winchester, Va.) - Nestled just north of the bustling Va. Route 7 corridor on the east side of Winchester lie now-quiet farm fields that the National Park Service has described as "some of the most sanguinary fields of the Civil War." Here, during the Third Battle of Winchester (19 September 1864), on battleground now dubbed the Middle Field, the fighting was close and fierce and the Union's 19th Corps suffered devastating losses. Forty percent of its men and every one of its regimental commanders was either killed or wounded. The $3.35 million purchase price of the 209 acres will be funded through a partnership between the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and private partners.


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