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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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Controlled burn planned Friday at Spotsylvania battlefield

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

On Friday, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields National Military Park plans a controlled burn of about 17 acres of field at the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield’s McCoull House site near the Bloody Angle, starting around 10 a.m.

At least 15 firefighters will be on site, according to Gregg Kneipp, the national park’s natural resources manager.

A National Park Service controlled burn earlier this month near the site of Union officer Emory Upton's attack helps reduce brushy growth that can choke the battlefield's native grasses.

A National Park Service controlled burn earlier this month near the site of Union officer Emory Upton’s attack helps reduce brushy growth that can choke the battlefield’s native grasses.

“The overall goal of using prescribed fire in the park is to reduce the woody stems (regrowth from forest-clearing activities in the early 1980s) in fields to enable a complete conversion to native warm-season grasses, which are better for wildlife, look nice, and make it easier to maintain historic vistas on our battlefields,” Kneipp said in an email Thursday.

Earlier in April, the park managed a similar burn in a field between Grant Drive and Upton’s Road, near the site of Union officer Emory Upton’s May 1864 attack against entrenched Confederate troops.

Click here for a park map of the area.

And here is a blog post by Spotsylvania historian John Cummings about the McCoull House site.

The National Park Service is preparing the 1864 historic site for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, one of the opening engagements in the Civil War’s Overland Campaign, next month.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/pastisprologue/2014/04/11/controlled-burn-planned-friday-at-spotsylvanias-bloody-angle/

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