It has been months of behind-the-scenes work, but in autumn 2021, CVBT announced the exciting news of two donations of battlefield land from local developers at The Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. Fawn Lake Holdings, LLC, has graciously gifted 30.4 acres of The Wilderness Battlefield to Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, increasing the preserved land along historic Orange Plank Road.
CVBT extends special thanks to Mark Doherty, Lee Garrison, and John McManus (CVBT Board member) for their dedication to preserving this land where history happened.
On the morning of May 6, Ulysses S. Grant launched a major assault against Confederates along the Orange Plank Road, spearheaded by Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps, which pushed from east to west. Even as things looked dire for the routed Confederates, James Longstreet’s First Corps arrived on the scene and counterattacked, pushing from west to east. The donated acreage saw major fighting in both phases of this see-saw action.
Describing this blood-soaked area of the battlefield, John Haley of the 17th Maine said, “The great, dark woods are filled with dead and wounded from both sides.” Another soldier likened it to a “vast, weird, horrible slaughter pen.” This is hallowed ground, and it is an honor to be able to preserve it.
At Spotsylvania Court House, Rappahannock Plantation, LLC, has made a generous donation of approximately 17.75 acres of the Myer’s Hill Battlefield, along and within the Woodbury Manor subdivision. The hallowed ground will also provide an important access and future interpretation point for the battlefield. This generous gift brings the total preserved land at Myer’s Hill to a little over 91 acres. Special thanks goes to Sean Haynes, the owner and manager of the company, and Chris Hornung, the engineer who works for Sean as part of his other company, Rappahannock Development Group, LLC, and CVBT Board member John McManus for facilitating this gift that adds to the understanding of what happened at the lesser-known Battle of Myer’s Hill.