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Central Virginia Battlefields Trust Joins Coalition, Advocating for The Wilderness Battlefield



Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) has joined a coalition with other historic preservation and environmental groups to raise awareness about a proposed development near The Wilderness Crossroads and The Wilderness Battlefield.


In a recent document, President Tom Van Winkle stated:


"Central Virginia Battlefields Trust is concerned about the development and highway changes proposed by Charles “Chip” King and KEG Associates III, LLC along Route 3, and the significant impact it would have on the historic resources in the vicinity. Our mission is to preserve Civil War battlefield land at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. For the past 25 years the CVBT has been the predominant local advocate, with national membership, for historic preservation by purchasing and preserving nearly 1,500 acres of endangered historic land, including portions in Orange County's Wilderness area. The Wilderness Battlefield has been designated a Priority 1, Class A battlefield, representing a “principle strategic operation” of the American Civil War. This national emphasis on the importance of this area highlights the treasured historic resource bordering and within Orange County.


"The proposed massive development would be positioned close to the study areas and preserved land of The Wilderness Battlefield where 29,800 Americans in blue or gray uniforms fell in 1864 during one of the defining conflicts in our nation’s history. This is hallowed ground. Building a community with an opportunity for approximately 20,000 residential units so close to this battlefield will significantly impact the traffic and roadway development while negatively impacting the visitor experience to this battlefield where so many soldiers gave their “last full measure of devotion.”


"We strongly oppose the suggested new placement for Route 20 which would cut through historic trench lines and direct heavy travel through the battlefield in a much more intrusive manner. Route 20—as it currently stands—closely follows the historic road trace and battlefield exploration and study is able to work on and around this highway. Adding a new road that crosses the battlefield is—in our opinion—an unnecessary and intrusive measure.


"The Board of Directors and Staff of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust urges the Orange County Planning Commission to consider the impact that the new development will have on the historic battlefield bordering the proposed development and to take measures to mitigate the impact it will have on this nationally recognized area of hallowed ground."


If you are looking for more details about this proposed development, please visit the Piedmont Environmental Council's page: https://www.pecva.org/region/orange/massive-rezoning-proposed-in-orange-county/


As of September 15, 2021, there is a new public comment submission address for Orange County, Virginia. You can send comments and concerns to zoning@orangecountyva.gov and please put "REZ21-02 (Wilderness Crossing)" in the subject line.


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