NEW MARKET, Va. (WDVM) — Thanks to a deal between a property owner and a non-profit, more of the historical battlefield grounds in the Shenandoah Valley are being protected.
The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation recently acquired an additional 52 acres of land that was part of the Battle of New Market, which took place in May of 1864. According to the Foundation’s CEO Keven Walker, the property, Henry and Catherine Buhl, of New Market, conveyed the property to the Foundation to prevent the land from being developed.
The property itself was the site of a key position for the Confederate infantry and artillery, including a Virginia Military Institute Cadet battery, the position of which is marked today with a cannon in the sprawling fields.
But Walker says the location could have been lost to history, due to the construction of Interstate 81, which cut through the historic battlefield. Much of the battlefield grounds on the eastern side of the highway have not been preserved, unlike the western side, where the Virginia Museum of the Civil War stands on the grounds of New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.
“The purchase of this 52-acre parcel is part of a larger initiative here in New Market that the Battlefields Foundation has undertaken, to not only preserve battlefield ground but to open additional battlefield ground to the public,” Walker said. “We hope to make New Market a major heritage tourism destination in the valley in the next few years.”
The property cost about $500,000, which the foundation plans to pay off within the next few years through a capital campaign.