Governor to visit Fisher’s Hill Battlefield

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

STRASBURG — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is coming to the Valley on Sept. 19 to celebrate Civil War battlefield preservation.

McAuliffe and Julie Langan, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, will be at Fisher’s Hill Battlefield at 1:30 p.m. to announce the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation’s latest preservation efforts, including the complete preservation of the 70-acre Battle of Fisher’s Hill site at Gordon’s Hill.

Gordon’s Hill was the site of a skirmish led by Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon. The event is free but registration is required on the SVBF’s website at
Calls to the foundation and to Langan’s office were not returned on Friday.

The foundation owns 486 acres of the 9,703-acre battle site about three miles southwest of Strasburg. The foundation is trying to raise enough money to protect the whole battlefield from development around Interstate 81 and U.S. 11, both of which run through the center of the site, according to the foundation’s website.

The SVBF also launched a fundraising campaign to preserve 25 acres around the New Market Battlefield, including the Clinedinst-Crim Property where Eliza Clinedinst Crim and her family housed wounded Virginia Military Institute cadets during the Battle of New Market.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke awarded $1.7 million to the SVBF in July as part of an effor to fund preservation at 10 state battlefields. Of that amount, $408,000 went to the New Market Battlefield’s campaign.

McAuliffe’s visit comes before a weekend of events marking the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of Fisher’s Hill, during which Confederate troops led by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early fled from Brig. Gen. George Crook’s U.S. forces and allowed U.S. Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan to begin a scorched-earth operation to be known as “The Burning.”

After McAuliffe’s event, historian Jonathan A. Noyalas will lead an interpretive event called “Fisher’s Hill: A Living Panorama,” which is free and open to the public.

Another interpretive program, called “Fisher’s Hill: The Story of a Battlefield,” will be led by historians Clarence Geier and Joe Whitehorne at 6 p.m. on Sept. 22. They will also lead a bus tour of the battlefield on Sept. 23.

Cannon demonstrations and a youth program will also be held on Sept. 23.

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