CVBT Newsletter, September 2023
Photo: Jennifer Michael
Preservation Updates and News
From the President's Desk
It's September already! Summer's exceptional heat is finally winding down. I must admit, with so many days having heat indexes of 100 degrees or more here in Virginia, I certainly haven’t been on the battlefields as much as I would have liked.
On the field is where I give myself the time to reflect upon what has been accomplished for battlefield preservation, not only as it pertains to CVBT, but preservation overall. One of the things I like to recall are the many fine people I have had the pleasure of meeting in this quest to save our history.
One of those people I never imagined I would work with is Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall. Why would I bring this up? No, I’m not name-dropping. Back in 2009, I was involved in producing the video “Civil War Fredericksburg: Then & Now.” If you are a CVBT member you most likely have a copy sitting around somewhere, if not we have more. In this video, I was honored to spend some on-film time with Mr. Duvall at an event rallying folks to oppose the then-planned Walmart on the Wilderness battlefield. That call to action was eventually successful.
Mr. Duvall has been a resident of Virginia for over twenty years and has championed many preservation challenges. For his passionate support of historical preservation, Del. Bill Wiley (R-Frederick County) and the Virginia General Assembly has awarded Mr. Duval House Joint Resolution No. 467, “Commending Robert Sheldon Duvall.” The resolution states that Duvall “advocated ardently in the past in support of protecting the Wilderness Battlefield, a unit of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Battlefield Park.”
The resolution also commends “Robert Selden Duvall, for his extraordinary impact on the art of filmmaking . . . as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for his work and for his contributions to the preservation of the Commonwealth’s unparalleled beauty.”
It is gratifying to know that although Mr. Duvall has attained the level of celebrity he has, he still understands the powerful sense of place battlefields afford us, and values those who have come before us and who sacrificed so much.
It was a pleasure spending time back in 2009 with “Bob,” and we at CVBT sincerely appreciate all he has done and continues to do for battlefield preservation by recently speaking out against plans to build massive data centers in the Commonwealth.
In the meantime, us regular folks will continue to fight the good fight, too.
See you at the CVBT Annual Conference in October!
Tom Van Winkle
Proposed Chancellorsville Gas Station
CVBT has no new information to pass along at this time. Local residents are still opposed to this proposed development project and continue to push back against it.
CVBT Annual Conference - SOLD OUT!
We look forward to seeing those of you who are attending the Annual Conference!
Wilderness Crossing Lawsuit Update
The Wilderness Crossing development project litigation is ongoing. Several irregularities in Orange County's rezoning process have been identified and we feel confident the plaintiff organizations and individuals will prevail.
Please consider making a donation and joining us in this important fight. Thank you to those who have made gifts toward this opposition effort.
National Museum of the U.S. Army Book Talks Series
The National Museum of the U.S. Army is hosting its September Book Talk event on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. This virtual event is free and open to the public through the Museum's website.
This month's program is "Grant at 200: Reconsidering the Life and Legacy of Ulysses S. Grant," by Chris Mackowski and Frank Scaturro. Information about this, and other programs in the Book Talks series can be found here.
"The line of battle in front of us was cut to pieces and our brigade constituted the rear line. the rebels came on at a charge bayonet expecting to take us all prisoners, but they got mistaken in their plans when they ran against our brigade. their lines came so near us that I could almost hit them with my gun. the Colonel of one of their regiments was killed within five rods of our regiment so you can see that they got close together before they run. their dead covered the ground as grey as a badger in front of us.”
Corp. William Stowe (2nd Vermont) describing the May 4, 1864, fighting on the retreat to Banks' Ford.
Photo: Jennifer Michael