Preserve 104 Pristine Battlefield Acres at Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain
If we can raise the final $225,000 with all of the potential matching funds in place, your generosity today would be multiplied by an astounding $25-to-$1!
BONUS: For your gift of $50 or more, we will send you the latest in our series of collector’s Battlefield Challenge Coins, this one for Brandy Station.
This will be the only chance we will ever have to protect these 97 acres at Brandy Station, and the other 7 acres near Cedar Mountain, and we urgently need your help to close these transactions soon.
Together, we have the chance to save absolutely key pieces of two major Civil War battlefields that, taken together, have a total transaction value of $5,697,826.
Tapping the state funds requested by the governor and appropriated by the legislature to help save the land at Brandy Station, and applying for additional federal and state matching grants, we hope to cover fully $5,244,382 million (92%!) of what we need through those sources. Plus, we have a major donor who is willing to match all gifts made to this effort, up to $225,000!
With the 1862 Peninsula Campaign coming to a close, Gen. Robert E. Lee sent 27,000 troops under Generals Stonewall Jackson and A.P. Hill to attack General John Pope’s new Federal Army of Virginia.
Pope moved to take the strategic rail junction at Gordonsville, Virginia. On August 9, Jackson’s force approached the Union position near an eminence called Cedar Mountain, seven miles south of the town of Culpeper. With August temperatures soaring, Confederate Gen. Charles Winder was struck by shell fragments and died a few hours later. With few subordinates aware of Jackson’s battle plan, this loss produced a dangerous leadership vacuum just as a powerful Federal attack began.
Pressed by the Union advance, the Confederate guns and their infantry support were forced back. With defeat in the air, Jackson rode into the center of the fighting and attempted to draw his sword that was rusted in its scabbard. Undaunted, Jackson waved a battle flag and his scabbard-encased sword over his head as he rallied his forces.
Reinvigorated by Jackson’s leadership, the Confederates launched a counterattack that drove back the Union wave. By 7:00 p.m., the Union line was in full retreat. After a mile and a half pursuit of the Federals, Jackson ordered a halt as night set in. The Federals largely surrendered the initiative to Lee and Jackson, resulting in the 1862 Northern Virginia Campaign as well as the 1862 Maryland Campaign.
Fleetwood Hill at Brandy Station was the center of a series of violent cavalry charges and countercharges during the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863.
Ten months later, after the major Eastern Theater battles of Second Manassas, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville (combined casualties of about 100,000 men), Union and Confederate forces eyed each other warily over the Rappahannock River in Culpeper.
On the morning of June 9, 1863, Union cavalry splashed across the river at Beverly’s Ford, catching their Confederate counterparts off guard and initiating the Battle of Brandy Station, the largest cavalry battle ever fought in North America.
While the battle raged across thousands of acres of the Virginia countryside, the key to the battlefield was Fleetwood Hill. This was the site of General J.E.B. Stuart’s headquarters. Thousands of troopers engaged in fierce combat at close quarters to claim this crucial strategic position.
The land we have a chance to save today is essential to any future preservation work to be done at Brandy Station. It would connect — forever — the land that you have helped preserve, from the western edge of Fleetwood Hill extending northward for nearly four miles!