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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Spring 2003 arrow Virginia: Development at Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg
Virginia: Development at Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg

Agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
As reported in the Winter 2003 and Fall 2002 Case Digests, Chancellorsville Civil War Battlefield outside of Fredericksburg, Virginia, has received attention from developers wishing to build on the privately owned areas of the battlefield.

The 1863 battle that was integral to protecting Fredericksburg—and its vital road, rail, and river connections—from the Union Army, is also noteworthy as the site where General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded and where he and General Robert E. Lee fought together.

Recently, a request was denied to rezone nearly 800 acres of privately owned land to construct mixed use development on the site of the “First Day’s Battle of Chancellorsville.” In accordance with current zoning laws, however, the owner of property adjacent to the battlefield may proceed with the construction of a 273-acre housing development on Lick Run, a contributing element to the National Register-eligible Chancellorsville Historic District.

In March 2003, the Spotsylvania, Virginia, County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to deny a request to rezone about 800 acres of privately owned land to construct a “Town of Chancellorsville” on the site of the first day of the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville.

The land, which is adjacent to the National Park Service’s Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, would have contained approximately 2,000 houses and more than two million square feet of business space.

Development near Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg, Virginia

 

 

 

Development near Chancellorsville Battlefield, Fredericksburg, VA (staff photo)

 

 

 

Another development project the ACHP has been a consulting party in, however, is expected to proceed in an area known as Lick Run, which is a contributing element to the Chancellorsville Battlefield Historic District. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is completing its review of an application from the private landowner for a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act to fill wetlands so that 273 acres of housing can be built.

These projects have garnered much attention because of intense pressure to develop the Chancellorsville Battlefield area. The National Park Service designated the battlefield a “Priority 1 Endangered Civil War Battlefield,” and the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the site in 1998 as one of its “11 Most Endangered Historic Places.”

In addition, preservation groups formed the Coalition to Save Chancellorsville Battlefield to protect threatened parts of the battlefield. The group includes the Civil War Preservation Trust, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Spotsylvania Battlefield Education Association, the Friends of the Fredericks-burg Area Battlefields, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For background information on this and other cases of proposed development at Chancellorsville Battlefield, see the Winter 2003 and the Fall 2002 Case Digests at www.achp.gov/casearchive/.

Staff contact: Tom McCulloch

Posted August 15, 2003

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