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2019 Highlights



1. Annual Conference

In April, more than 100 CVBT Preservation Partners gathered for a weekend of history and tours, focusing on the “Opening of the Overland Campaign” on the 155th Anniversary of that event.


2. Fifth Corps/Brock Road Tract

The Fifth Corps Tract along historic Brock Road has been officially secured and paid for! The site played an important part in the Battle of Spotsylvania, and now the 14.4 acres where Union troops rallied for attack has been saved. Thank you for supporting this preservation project.


3. Fifth Corps Tract’s Structure Demolition

Once a piece of battleground has been preserved and the funding is available, CVBT starts the process of returning the land to its 1860’s appearance. It was an exciting moment in November when the demolition of a 20th Century structure at the Fifth Corps/Brock Road Tract took place.


4. On The Front Line Magazine

CVBT’s former mailed communications—Skirmish Line and the Fredericksburg Journal—were costly to produce, but we still wanted to publish and share preservation news and fascinating articles. On The Front Line Magazine offers breathtaking photos, articles by respected historians, and preservation updates in each issue. Currently published twice per year, the Winter and Summer 2019 were very popular and also made a splash when with shared with colleagues in preservation.


5. Youth Day

In November, students from local high schools, living historians, and the CVBT team met at Pelham’s Corner for a day of maintenance. The group cleaned the site, planted trees and shrubs, and talked about the history that happened there. At the end of the work, the students had the opportunity to take a tour at the Sunken Road.



6. Touring Myer’s Hill

Myer’s Hill is the site of “forgotten fighting” during the Battle of Spotsylvania. CVBT is in the process of preserving and retiring the debt for several tracts of key battlefield at this location. This year—for the first time—a large tour group of preservation partners with historians and researchers toured the property, learning about its significance and seeing this special piece of land.


7. New Staff

This summer Terry Rensel journeyed from Alaska to join CVBT as the new executive director. With his background in non-profit fundraising and vast interest in history, Terry is bringing new energy and ideas to the battlefield preservation community. In the autumn, Sarah Kay Bierle joined CVBT as the new assistant to the executive director; she has a background in social media, communications, event planning, and has authored several history books. CVBT looks forward to a fast-paced future with this team who are already working behind the scenes to secure land for preservation!


8. Preservation Awareness Outreach

We know that you love CVBT…but there are still a lot of people who have not heard about our work at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. One of the board’s goals is to raise awareness to our mission, challenges, and successes through outreach at events or community projects. This year CVBT had several history and preservation articles appear in local and national publications, interviewed for a local radio station, and set up an outreach table at several historical events.


9. CVBT Represented at Round Tables and Conferences

We’re excited to “get out there” and talk to Civil War Round Tables and share the Central Virginia preservation news at history conferences. CVBT board members Chris Mackowski and Robert Lee Hodge have been leading this charge, sharing about the mission at their lectures and handing out lots of rack cards. We’ve met lots of new Preservation Partners…


10. Abundance of News

This autumn CVBT started trialing some new communications plans, including a monthly e-newsletter and focused social media posts. We’ve got so much history and preservation notes to share and are seeking the best ways to make that information available and accessible! We promise not to flood your inbox, and we are thrilled to have the option for regular communications with our Preservation Partners.


With your help, we continue to work toward the retirement of our debt for the Spotsylvania Myer’s Hill property, and, with grants on the horizon, this will be realized soon. But there is no rest for the weary, and CVBT is working on multiple opportunities at several battlefields. We look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring and what preservation victories can be achieved. Thank you for being part of saving history! Everyday, Civil War battleground is lost. We save it.


Learn more: www.cvbt.org

Follow CVBT on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @vabattlestrust

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