Battlefield group hopes to save 25 New Market acres

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation is launching a new preservation campaign to preserve three New Market sites that were integral to the Civil War’s 1864 Valley campaign.

The foundation hopes to raise between $92,000 and $97,000 by early next year to protect 25 acres from potential future development. The land includes the 2-acre Clinedinst Crim property, 13.5 acres along River Road and the 9.5-acre Rice property.

The Clinedinst Crim house along South Congress Street was where New Market resident Eliza Clinedinst Crim and her family nursed Virginia Military Institute cadets who were wounded during the May 15, 1864 Battle of New Market.

One of those cadets was Thomas Garland Jefferson, the 17-year-old great-nephew of President Thomas Jefferson, who was mortally wounded during the battle, according to the foundation’s chief executive officer Keven Walker.

The River Road property, which lies west of the 204-acre battlefield, was a strategically valuable piece for both sides due to its proximity to the Shenandoah River and Old Valley Pike, Walker said.

“The Confederates possessed it before the battle and the federals [Union] captured it afterward,” he said. “It’s where the 18th Connecticut, 30th Virginia, 62nd Virginia, the 123rd Ohio and the 1st West Virginia clashed in the first hours of the battle.”

The Rice property north of the battlefield, meanwhile, was the headquarters of U.S. Gen. Franz Sigel during the battle and the site where the fighting shifted to the Bushong farm, Walker said.

Preserving the Clinedinst Crim house won’t just yield the structure and surrounding land, but also an “unbelievable collection of soldiers’ letters and family items that are still in the house,” Walker said.

If all three sites are preserved, the foundation hopes to construct a greenway with walking trails connecting the sites to the battlefield and each other, Walker said.

All private donations raised will be matched by federal and state grants, he said. The total estimated preservation cost is $730,000.

Walker hopes to announce the completion of the first phase of the greenway construction during the Battle of New Market re-enactment in May 2018.

Like all of the foundation’s preservation efforts, the project “is as much about preserving the future as it is the past,” Walker said. New Market itself also stands to gain from preservation, he said.

“It will support the future of New Market’s economy, which is heritage tourism,” he said. “We want to help improve the town economically and socially, and make it a better place to live.”

For more information about the New Market preservation effort, go to the foundation’s website at

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