Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Stafford Civil War park transformed by National Guard troops

MORE: Read more Stafford County news

Belatedly, here’s a still-timely crosspost of a recent story by my colleague Rusty Dennen.

The soldiers of whom he writes continue, day after back-breaking day, to move heaven and earth to build this park to commemorate the U.S. soldiers who — by the tens of thousands — encamped in Stafford County, Va., and defended the Army of the Potomac’s turf against a much-feared assault by Gen. Robert E. Lee and his vaunted Army of Northern Virginia.

This is the story’s lede:

Civil War soldiers in Union blue transformed the Stafford County landscape nearly 150 years ago during their yearlong stay–cutting trees and roads and setting up vast camps, a harbor and fortifications.

This week, troops in Army green were at work at a 41-acre site where some of their Civil War counterparts once stayed.

Due largely to those efforts, the area’s newest Civil War park could open as early as this fall on the rolling swath of woodland off Mount Hope Church Road.

About 80 soldiers with the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion, 91st Troop Command are clearing trees and brush and building roads in a two-week project that began Sunday. The Guard and a local nonprofit, Friends of Stafford County Civil War Sites, which is overseeing the project, on Thursday showed progress at the tract to county officials and Bill Howell, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Dennen’s full report is here.