–General Assembly allotted $500,000 for battlefield preservation in 2022–
–Targeted tracts are in Henrico and Rockingham Counties-
RICHMOND – The Department of Historic Resources announced today that grants from this year’s Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund will protect 252 acres including tracts affiliated with the actions of the United States Colored Troops. The acreage targeted for preservation is located in Henrico and Rockingham counties.
The General Assembly established the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund (VBPF) in 2010, and authorized the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) to administer the fund by evaluating and disbursing grant awards to eligible recipients. DHR determined this year’s selections through a rigorous evaluation process, after receiving more grant applications than the 2022 fund of $500,000 can support.
“The preservation of these significant battlefields advances Virginia’s goals of increasing historic preservation and land conservation,” said Travis A. Voyles, Acting Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources, “and advances our reputation as a destination for those seeking to connect with our nation’s history.”
Based on DHR’s recommendations, the Commonwealth will award a VBPF grant to the Capital Region Land Conservancy and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
These two nonprofits will use the VBPF grants to leverage private matching donations to preserve land associated with multiple Civil War battlefields — Deep Bottom and Chaffin’s Farm/New Market Heights in Henrico County and Port Republic in Rockingham County.
“The award of these funds demonstrates the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to the preservation of historic battlefield properties and expands opportunities for heritage tourism and outdoor recreation,” said Julie V. Langan, DHR Director.
In accordance with VBPF stipulations, organizations that receive battlefield grants must donate an easement to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources for any acreage acquired with the state grants. The perpetual easements restrict or prohibit development of the land and contain provisions protecting historic, archaeological, and battlefield landscape resources on the property, among others.
In selecting the awards, DHR considered each battlefield’s significance and ranking in Congress’s
“Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields,” issued in 1993 and subsequently updated. Additionally, DHR weighed factors in the grant applications such as the proximity of a battlefield parcel to already protected lands; the threat of encroaching development that could transform a parcel’s historic look and feel at the time of a battle; and the potential for education, recreation, research, or heritage tourism in connection with a battlefield tract.
Using these criteria, DHR will disburse—
Battlefield Grant Awards 2022
Deep Bottom & Chaffin’s Farm/New Market Heights Battlefields, Henrico Co.
Preserved Property: Camp Holly Springs Tract (145 acres)
Sponsor: Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC)
The CRLC purchase of an easement from the owner of the Camp Holly Springs Tract supports preservation of a continuous corridor of protected historic landscape associated with three Civil War battles. In particular, the property is associated with the United States Colored Troops’ actions during the Civil War and presents new opportunities for related research and education.
Port Republic Battlefield, Rockingham Co.
Preserved Property: Edwards Tracts (107 acres)
Sponsor: Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF)
SVBF intends to install a publicly accessible interpretative trail across the property which will have a positive community impact. The tract adjoins other SVBF-owned properties associated with the Battle of Port Republic, and will create a contiguous corridor of over 325 acres of conserved historic landscape.
Contact: Stephanie Williams
Department of Historic Resources
Originally posted: October 27, 2022
Updated: March 6, 2023