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Cannons at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Va.

Cannons at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Va.

Help Save 52 Hallowed Acres at Three Virginia Battlefields

The Opportunity

We have the opportunity to purchase and permanently protect 52 acres of prime Virginia Civil War battlefield land in Manassas, Reams Station, and Cumberland Church (Farmville).

The total transaction value is just over a million dollars, but if we can raise just $145,000 in the next 45 days, we can multiply your impact by $7- to-$1. With your help, we’ll purchase all three parcels, and keep them out of the hands of developers forever!

Please donate to support this critical cause today. With just one gift, you can help preserve three sites before the developers destroy them!

The History

Three Acres in Manassas 

We have identified this three-acre tract as a “must have,” and it’s critical that we raise the funds to preserve it before a developer outbids us. In fact, Preservation Virginia placed Manassas on the 2022 list of most endangered historic places, due to data center threats.

This tract is at the heart of the battlefield of Second Manassas. For the second time in 13 months, the two sides clashed in an epic battle on the “Plains of Manassas,” with the strategic initiative in the east hanging in the balance. This parcel is very near the famous “Deep Cut,” where Confederates under General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson — out of ammunition after repeated Union assaults — resorted to throwing rocks at the attacking Federals.

As Jackson held on for dear life, General James Longstreet led a hammer-blow attack against the Union left flank. The Union army was thrown back, and Lee was emboldened to march north, more confident of eventual triumph than ever. That effort — the Antietam or Maryland Campaign — was one of the turning points of the War.

Back in 1862, these lands were under siege during the battle. Today, they are under siege again, targeted by developers who want to build data centers or massive developments.

Three Acres in Reams Station

Like many of the battlefield lands we buy, this one may not be well known to the casual student of the War. Today, a house built in 1981 mars part of the view, and there’s no marker on the property to say what happened here.

Trust supporters like you helped us purchase and conserve much of the battlefield around it, while this “doughnut hole” property remains privately owned and threatened!

Reams Station was a key stop on the Petersburg Railroad, then known as the Weldon Railroad. And in 1864, railroads were crucial supply lines to the Federal and Confederate armies. Lee’s army, entrenched around Petersburg, needed supplies to be brought by rail, which put Reams Station right in the crosshairs of the Federals.

Unfortunately, August 25 turned out to be the worst day of the War for the once-vaunted Union II Corps. General Winfield Scott Hancock’s forces suffered 2,602 casualties, nearly 40% of those engaged, including 1,968 captured. Even more mortifying to the corps was the loss of twelve regimental flags and nine pieces of artillery.

After the War, Confederate division commander Henry Heth wrote, “I have read that if Hancock’s heart could have been examined there would have been written on it, ‘REAMS’, as plainly as the deep scars received at Gettysburg ... were visible.”

There is so much for people, especially young people, to learn at places like Reams Station — about the strategies of war, and the fierce and determined efforts made by brave soldiers on both sides. I love to read, but books alone cannot tell the whole story.

46 Acres at Cumberland Church 

The Battle of Cumberland Church (sometimes also referred to as the Battle of Farmville) was one of the last battles before the surrender at Appomattox and the unofficial end of the Civil War. By April 1865, the War had clearly turned in favor of the Federals. But at Cumberland Church, the Confederates continued to fight with every ounce of waning strength they had left. 

At 5:00 pm on April 7th, General U.S. Grant wrote his now-famous letter to Lee, speaking of the “hopelessness of further resistance,” and shifting to Lee the “responsibility of any effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the C.S. Army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.”

The 46 acres we are saving at Cumberland Church are also the first acres ever saved at this battlefield, fought two days before the surrender at Appomattox Court House. This pristine property had already been subdivided into five parcels for new residential development – we need to save it before it is lost!

Take action to preserve these 52 acres in Virginia 

The total transaction value for these three crucial tracts is $1,018,500. Expected grants and commitments from our partners have helped raise $873,500 (85.7%) toward the purchase price so far.

Please make a gift now before more hallowed ground is lost forever.  If you help raise the final 14.3% we need by giving what you can today, your impact will be multiplied by $7-to-$1 and these priceless tracts will be conserved once and for all.

Donate Now

“We have a choice: Fight on, and work to save these crucial acres so that this important part of our history is preserved forever. Or surrender, and possibly see unwanted development on this pristine battlefield.”
David N. Duncan, President

Preserve Three Virginia Battlefields

52
Acres Targeted
$7-to-$1
$145,000