Chancellorsville. Brandy Station. Champion Hill. 155 years after this series of conflicts leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg, we have the chance to save land at the sites of these three history-changing battles. Here’s why we can’t let this opportunity pass us by.
On May 2, 1863, Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson leads more than 28,000 men on an audacious12-mile flanking maneuver to strike the right flank of the Union army under General Joseph Hooker.
Then, like the crash of a sudden summer thunderstorm, the Confederates descend, sending thousands of Union soldiers reeling and forcing Hooker’s army into retreat. Military historians still talk about the impressive maneuver 155 years later, but Jackson had precious little time to enjoy the success as he is mortally wounded that same day.
The Opportunity: We have the chance to save 4 acres at the site of Jackson’s Flank Attack – nearly $280,000 worth of hallowed ground – for just $40,000. This amazing opportunity comes thanks to matching funds, including federal funding through the federal American Battlefield Preservation Program (or “Preserving America’s Battlefields Act”) and an anticipated grant from a supportive foundation.
That same month, in the west , Union General Ulysses S. Grant works diligently to take control of Vicksburg and with it the Mississippi River. Champion Hill proves “the largest, bloodiest and most significant action of the Vicksburg campaign” according to Terry Winschel, author and retired National Park Service historian at Vicksburg.
The Opportunity: We expect to use $120,000 in matching funds from the federal American Battlefield Preservation Program to preserve these 68 acres at a cost of $240,000.
A month later, General Hooker anticipates a raid by Confederate cavalry under General J.E.B. Stuart and orders General Alfred Pleasanton to attack first. The Union’s surprise advance at 4:30 a.m. June 9 spurs the largest cavalry battle on the North American continent. Much of the fighting that day swirls around these two acres at the heart of the battlefield, often called the St. James Church tract for the small Episcopal church that stood on the property in 1863.
The Opportunity: The Trust’s cost to purchase this landmark site at the epicenter of the battle is $75,000.
Together, these hallowed acres represent an amazing opportunity to preserve the integrity of these three battlefields, where our organizations and others already have invested enormous time and effort. For a total cost of $235,000, we can save all 74 acres – land valued at $595,000 – from the threat of development. That means every dollar you give today turns into $2.53, more than doubling the power of your gift.
Please consider making your most generous gift today to help us raise the $235,000 we need to secure these three tracts.
And, if you make a gift of at least $61.08 today (in honor of H.R. 6108 to increase funding for the Preserving America’s Battlefields Act), we’ll send you a full-color, 18-inch by 12-inch print of a private, newly commissioned painting by renowned artist Keith Rocco that depicts the early morning fight of the 8th Illinois Cavalry at Brandy Station. This oversized image, printed on the highest-quality matte paper, signed and numbered by the artist, and shipped to you in a rigid mailer, has never been seen by or offered for sale to the public. The gentleman who commissioned the painting is allowing us to reproduce it to help with the fundraising effort to save this land.
If you can help the Trust today with a gift of $500 or more, we’ll send you the same painting, but instead of being printed on paper, it will be an artist’s giclée in vibrant color on a 27-inch by 17-inch canvas. Both the premium paper print and large canvas giclée are being produced in very limited numbers, so don’t wait to reserve yours!