$223,435 For Civil War Battlefield Preservation at Myer's Hill Near Spotsylvania
Press Release—September 4, 2020
Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) is pleased to announce that
the American Battlefield Protection Program in coordination with Virginia's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has designated $223,435.02 to help preserve Myer's Hill battlefield, near Spotsylvania Court House. Since 2018, CVBT has been working to save 73.3 acres of this hallowed ground where Union and Confederate troops clashed on May 14, 1864, in the fields and around the farmstead owned by John Myer.
The American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), administered by the National Park Service (NPS), promotes preservation at significant historic battlefield sites and assists with planning, management, and interpretation to raise awareness and save these sites for future generations. In the announcement of the new grant, NPS highlighted the two weeks of fighting that occurred around Spotsylvania Court House from May 8-21, 1864, as part of the Overland Campaign as Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s forces battled
Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army.
The Battle of Myer’s Hill occurred on May 14, 1864, as Union units crossed the Ni River and attempted to move toward Massaponax Church Road. Confederate regiments rushed to defend the high ground and fierce combat raged as soldiers attacked and counterattacked. During the combat, Union General George G. Meade—victor at Gettysburg the previous year—was nearly captured and made a narrow escape.
John Henry Myer owned the land where soldiers in blue and gray battled on May 14, 1864. After the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862 wrecked the local economy, Myer purchased a farm south of Fredericksburg and near Spotsylvania Court House, attempting to keep his young family away from the destruction of war. However, war’s violence arrived at his farm, and, at the end of the day, Union troops burned the farmstead buildings. Myer himself had been conscripted by the Confederates and saw the smoke from his burning home in the distance; his wife and children had already fled as the armies approached.
Thanks to the support of preservation partners—and now assisted by this new grant from ABPP—Central Virginia Battlefields Trust is working to save 73.3 acres of land at Myer’s Hill. The earthworks and ruins of the civilian home offer a unique opportunity for preservation and interpretation of the multi-layered history of the Civil War.
Since 1996, CVBT has preserved over 1,350 acres of threatened hallowed ground at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House, creating historic greenspace for educational interpretation and allowing every generation to learn the stories of courage in our nation’s past. For more information about the continuing mission to save battlefield land and previous successes, please visit: www.cvbt.org