More Land at Shepherdstown Battlefield Forever Protected

Historic Landmarks Commission and partners add 11 acres to preserved lands at battlefield

For immediate release – December 5, 2016

Contact: Martin Burke, Chair, Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission
p: (304) 876-3883 / e: HLCinfo@jeffersoncountywv.org

battlefield-of-shepherdstown-118th-pennsylvania-reg-historyShepherdstown, WV – The Battle of Shepherdstown, fought September 19-20, 1862 is credited as being the decisive action of the historic 1862 Maryland Campaign during the Civil War.  Over 150 years later, local and national organizations are working to keep the battlefield intact for future generations.  Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain, whose first experience in battle came at Shepherdstown with the famed 20th Maine Regiment, once said “generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and dream…”

Shepherdstown Battlefield, Civil War Trust
Shepherdstown Battlefield, Civil War Trust

The 11-acre parcel was purchased through negotiations by the Civil War Trust assisted by Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission.  A large portion of the project was funded through a grant awarded by the American Battlefield Protection Program, National Park Service.  The property will be placed under conservation easement which will be held by the Land Trust for the Eastern Panhandle.  This will bring a total of 36 acres held by JCHLC at the battlefield, accompanied by an additional 239 acres preserved by the Jefferson County Farmland Protection Board.

Where the property sits on the battlefield, General Edward Thomas led his 35th Georgia Infantry on an attack on the Union General Gouverneur K. Warren’s left flank in the late stages of the battle on September 20, 1862.  Though it was a Confederate victory, the Battle of Shepherdstown persuaded General Robert E. Lee not to make another advance into Maryland and effectively ended his first attempt to invade the North in September 1862.