Civil War Preservation Trust announces latest campaign
Fundraising has begun for the preservation of a crucial two-acre parcel on the Gettysburg battlefield. The property, originally part of the historic Philip Snyder farm, lies along the Emmitsburg Road and is entirely surrounded by Gettysburg National Military Park. It has been a top land acquisition priority for historians and preservationists for years, and in late 2009 the landowners expressed a desire to sell.
The Civil War Preservation Trust stepped in and put the property under contract after the National Park Service’s funds allocated by Congress fell short of the property’s appraised value. After closing, CWPT will in turn sell the land to the Park Service for $300,000, the sum initially allocated by the federal government.
“This will help the National Park Service restore the Philip Snyder farm, the scene of Confederate battle lines and the advance on the Union positions at Devil’s Den on July 2, 1863,” said interim Gettysburg Superintendent Mel Poole.
“Nearly a third of the Union Army marched right by—and likely across—this property as they double-quicked up the Emmitsburg Road into Gettysburg on July 1, 1863,” noted CWPT President James Lighthizer. “They had no idea they were rushing headlong into the bloodiest battle of the entire war. The next day, this land stood just a few dozen yards from the Confederate line, and saw the beginning of the assaults that would end in blood at the Wheatfield and Devil’s Den. It is not often—if ever—that we who care about saving America’s Civil War battlefields get the opportunity to save something so important.”
In 2009, despite a terrible economy, the CWPT rescued 2,777 acres at 20 different Civil War battlefields in five states, with a total transaction value of more than $38 million. Among key sites are 47 acres at Appomattox Station, 433 acres at Brandy Station, 85 acres at Chancellorsville, 94 acres at the Wilderness and 178 acres at Malvern Hill. For the full list visit www.civilwar.org.