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As event's 150th anniversary nears, Civil War Trust and local partners aim to preserve key tract in Culpeper County.
This cabin served as a Confederate field hospital during the Battle of Cedar Mountain. Now, the Civil War Trust aims to save 6 acres at the end of the lane, on the left side.
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The fighting around Crittenden's Gate grew so fierce that Jackson and his division commander, Brig. Gen. Charles S. Winder, manned cannons themselves. A Union shell ripped away Winder's side, and he was off the field, mortally wounded.
In intense, hand-to-hand combat around the gate, including the trust's new target property, Union casualties reached 30 percent. Here, waving his saber (rusted inside its scabbard), "Stonewall" Jackson rallied his men and led them to victory.
"The opportunity to protect additional land associated with that struggle will give this anniversary period an even deeper meaning," Trust President James Lighthizer said Friday.
Diane Logan, president of Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield, welcome the effort. "The property that will be preserved with this new effort is at the very heart of the Cedar Mountain Battlefield," she said. "Its protection will materially enhance our ability to understand and interpret the engagement for visitors--today and for many years to come."
The 6 acres, contiguous to the trust's other Cedar Mountain holdings, will cost $120,000. Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield have pledged the first $10,000 contribution toward the purchase price.
Earlier, the two groups worked together to preserve 154 acres of the scenic, rolling battlefield.
The friends group plans what Lighthizer called "a tremendous program" of special events to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the bloodiest day in Culpeper history.
It began Friday night with the world premiere of a multimedia stage production of Culpeper author Virginia Beard Morton's novel "Marching Through Culpeper."
At 9:30 a.m. today, Morton will lead a walking tour of downtown Culpeper.
At 12:30 p.m., during a barbecue luncheon at the Inn at Kelly's Ford, Virginia Tech professor emeritus James I. "Bud" Robertson Jr.--author of a new, best-selling National Geographic book on the Civil War--will chronicle the rift between Jackson and Confederate commander A.P. Hill that erupted at Cedar Mountain, with major consequences for the battle.
At 7:30 p.m. tonight and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, there will be more performances of the stage adaptation of Morton's story of love across the battle lines, based on real events.
On Thursday, Aug. 9, noted historians, including Todd Berkoff, Clark B. "Bud" Hall, Greg Mertz, Nicholas Picerno and Jeffry Wert will illuminate the Battle of Cedar Mountain Symposium at Germanna Community College's Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper.
That evening, on the 150th anniversary of the fight, the Cedar Mountain battlefield will light up with artillery and infantry demonstrations, brass-band music of the era and a historian-led walking tour.
The Civil War Trust's Cedar Mountain effort is part of its "Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy," kicked off last year. That project aims to raise enough money by 2015 to protect 20,000 acres of prime land on the most historically significant Civil War battlefields.Civil War Trust campaign: civil war.org/cedarmountain12 Culpeper County friends group: friendsofcedarmountain.org Special events: marchingthrough culpeperonstage.com
Clint Schemmer: 540/368-5029