Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2007) – Today, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) announced its 2007 list of the most endangered Civil War battlefields, and one of the sites on CWPT's list is the Cedar Creek Battlefield, a National Historic Landmark that includes Belle Grove Plantation, a historic site owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Following is a statement by Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, responding to today's most endangered listing of the Cedar Creek Battlefield.
"The National Trust is greatly concerned by the threat to each of the Civil War battlefields highlighted on the Civil War Preservation Trust's 2007 most endangered list, but as the owners of Belle Grove Plantation, we take an especially strong interest in preserving Cedar Creek," said Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "As stewards of these lands, the National Trust is committed to ensuring that this sacred soil is not transformed into a gravel pit in the shadow of a power line."
The threats to Belle Grove and the Cedar Creek Battlefield are twofold. First, the National Trust adamantly opposes O-N Minerals’ proposal to radically expand their quarry operation, which is immediately adjacent to Belle Grove. The expanded quarry, with its waste piles, industrial facilities, and heavy truck traffic, would destroy core battlefield land, compromise the National Park’s scenic vistas, and degrade the area's pristine rural landscape. And second, the National Trust is seriously troubled by the proposal of Dominion Power and Allegheny Power to construct a new 500-kilovolt electric transmission line—with its 150-foot towers and 200-foot right of way—through the Northern Piedmont region in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Thus far, little or nothing has been done by Dominion Power and Allegheny Power to take into account the potential harm this power line would inflict on the rural landscape, local communities, and historic places along the proposed route. The Battle of Cedar Creek is an important chapter in the saga of the Civil War, and the battlefield on which it was fought needs to be preserved.
About Belle Grove Plantation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which took ownership of Belle Grove Plantation in 1964, was the first organization to provide leadership in the preservation of this 214 year-old historic site around which the Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek was fought. Today, the National Trust owns and protects 283 acres of the original plantation and battlefield, and the Trust’s non-profit partner, Belle Grove, Inc. owns and protects an additional 107 acres of historic and battlefield property. The National Trust and Belle Grove, Inc. work in close coordination with their key partners, the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, and the National Park Service, to protect the 3,500-acre Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. The National Park was created by Congress with the strong support of local residents in 2002 to preserve both the battlefield and the antebellum plantation.