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Chancellorsville: Once a battlefield, soon to be serenity

Date published: 12/18/2005

In this season of joy and anticipation, it was with equal parts of both that I read the article announcing the cooperative efforts of Toll Brothers, the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors, and the Civil War Preservation Trust--efforts that, if success-ful, will allow the preservation of 75 acres of the Chancellorsville battlefield ["Historic Rt. 3 slice set aside?" Dec. 1].

Joy because when this effort becomes reality, open space, a place of quiet peacefulness, a place of serenity, a place that might even be considered sacramental, will be saved forever and for all time.

Such places will become harder to find; what a wonderful legacy its preservation will be for those who come after us.

Joy, too, because the ground in question is hallowed ground, well-watered with the blood of heroes, literally a part of America's sacred soil, and its preservation will bring honor both to those who fought and fell there and to those who were responsible for its preservation.

Anticipation arises out of seeing, once again, a coming together of developers, politicians, and preservationists, willing to balance self-interest with common purpose, willing to listen and learn from one another, willing to share a commitment to get the deal done.

The folks of Toll Brothers, of the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors, and of the Civil War Preservation Trust are meeting in a spirit of comity and compromise, and all of us who understand what this land means to our community and to our country can be hopeful that their efforts will bear fruit.

When that day comes, it will be truly a joyous one indeed!

Mike Stevens