Return to Case Digest Archives
skip general nav links ACHP home About ACHP


National Historic

Working with
Section 106

Federal, State, & Tribal Programs

Training & Education


 skip specific nav links
Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Fall 2002 arrow Virginia: Development at Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg
Virginia: Development at Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg

Agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

In this high-profile case, a developer proposes to construct housing and offices on a privately owned portion of the Chancellorsville Battlefield outside of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Noteworthy as the last place that Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fought together, the 1863 battle was integral to protecting Fredericksburg—and its vital rail, road, and river connections—from the Union Army.

The situation illustrates the need to balance private property rights with preserving our historic past, and underscores the importance of local historic preservation efforts when Federal involvement is limited.

The Norfolk District of the Corps of Engineers is anticipating a developer’s request for a permit to fill wetlands on private property, to make way for a mixed residential-commercial development west of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The plan calls for approximately 2,350 houses and 2.4 million square feet of office space on about 800 acres.

A cannon sits at Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg, Virginia



Chancellorsville Civil War Battlefield, Fredericksburg, VA (staff photo)


The planned development is located directly where the heaviest fighting took place on the first day of battle, at Chancellorsville in 1863. The property lies along a busy corridor adjacent to one of NPS’s major Civil War parks, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The three-day battle stopped the Army of the Potomac from wresting Fredericksburg from the Confederates, and is also where General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded as he and General Robert E. Lee fought against Union forces.

The “Coalition to Save Chancellorsville Battlefield” was recently formed to protect threatened parts of the battlefield. Members include the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Spotsylvania Battlefield Education Association, the Friends of the Fredericksburg Area Battlefields, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The case has also garnered national media attention.

Local zoning changes are needed for the project, and public hearings are scheduled for this purpose in October 2002. Meanwhile, ACHP awaits further word from the Corps of Engineers on the issuance of the permit.

Staff contact: Tom McCulloch

Posted May 6, 2003

Return to Top