11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Considered to be Robert E. Lee's greatest battle, the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville encompassed some of the boldest strategies of the Civil War. More than 30,000 casualties were suffered here, among them Confederate icon Stonewall Jackson who was mistakenly shot by his own troops. In 1927, sections of the battlefield were incorporated into the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, but most of the land was still privately owned. Today, this once-rural area sits astride a major transportation corridor in one of the nation's fastest growing regions. With land values skyrocketing, the National Park Service needed financial assistance to acquire and preserve key parts of the battlefield that were still subject to development. Ever-increasing traffic led to calls for wider roads, culminating in a proposed superhighway called the Outer Connector that would pass within a mile of the park boundary. Motels, fast-food outlets, and parking lots already surround Old Salem Church, a central landmark of the battle.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation listed Chancellorsville Battlefield among America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 1998. At the time, the National Park Service owned fewer than 1,700 acres at Chancellorsville. In the years since, the National Park Service, national partners such as the Civil War Trust, and local partners such as the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, have used the Land and Water Conservation Fund to purchase and protect hundreds of additional acres in and around Chancellorsville.
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