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.

RSS feed of this blog

Coalition Enters Home Stretch to Save Heart of Brandy Station Battlefield

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

People have worked mightily for 30-plus years to preserve Culpeper County’s Brandy Station battlefield, scene of the biggest cavalry fight in the Western hemisphere.

Against all odds, they’ve achieved great success. Now, this effort is focused on saving the field’s most telling spot, Fleetwood Hill, the high ground where battle raged most intensely.

To acquire that 56 acres from its private owner, the Civil War Trust announced Friday that it’s launching a $3.6 million national fundraising campaign–one of the five most ambitious private battlefield purchases in the nonprofit group’s history. (Learn more at

J.E.B. Stuart IV, the great-grandson of the Confederacy’s most famous cavalry officer, calls Fleetwood Hill “the most important remaining unprotected land at Brandy Station,” the trust said Friday.

His namesake always linked the battle with the site, calling it “the Battle of Fleetwood Heights” in his reports and correspondence, Stuart said.

The Battle of Brandy Station, fought on June 9, 1863, demonstrated the newfound prowess of Union cavalry forces and is considered the opening shot in Robert E. Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign.

To preserve Fleetwood Hill, the trust and its allies are mounting a full-court press.

Joining it on the campaign are groups with long commitments to Culpeper and the region, including the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, based in Fredericksburg; the Brandy Station Foundation; and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground 

With state and federal grants in the offing, trust officials said each dollar private contributed now will be multiplied more than 18-fold–specifically, an 18.63-to-1 match (note those four digits, history geeks)!