December 13, 2018

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We’ve had a very successful 2018.

But there’s still so much that we can accomplish.

 

Dear Friends,

In 2018, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF) had a tremendously successful year.  Thanks to your support, we continued to achieve our mission of preserving the Valley’s precious battlefields and providing high-quality interpretation of our nation’s Civil War history. We need your help to continue this track record of success. Please take a look at all we’ve accomplished and consider making a year-end donation to keep the momentum going.

This year alone we succeeded in preserving 584 acres – 392 acres at Tom’s Brook, 158 acres at Cedar Creek, 13 acres at New Market, 19 acres at McDowell, and 2 acres at the site where Turner Ashby was killed in Harrisonburg.  All of it saved forever.

Over 2,000 attendees joined us for 30 different events, including conferences, battlefield tours, monument unveilings, youth events, Civil War Roundtable meetings, and more.  Speakers and tour guides included top-notch Civil War historians such as Ted Alexander, Ed Bearss, Christy Coleman, Gary Ecelbarger, Caroline Janney, Bill Miller, Scott Mingus, Jonathan Noyalas, Scott Patchan, Bud Robertson, Jeff Wert, and Eric Wittenberg.

SVBF hosted youth events that included living history at local schools, tours of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum in Winchester, hand’s-on programs, “History in Action” challenges, and interacting with experienced living historians throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

Our members are our most valuable resource for achieving our mission. Over a thousand private donors – people just like you – gave more than $1 million for battlefield preservation, interpretation, and education.

Thanks to the American Battlefield Protection Program and grants from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Battlefields Foundation has been awarded more than $2.7 million towards preservation projects at the Second Winchester, Third Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, New Market, Tom’s Brook, Cross Keys, and McDowell battlefields.

This year we unveiled two monuments, one dedicated to Thomas Garland Jefferson, VMI Cadet and casualty of the Battle of New Market, and one honoring General Robert E. Rodes on the Third Winchester battlefield. We also published two issues of our well-received magazine, Shenandoah At War, installed new interpretive and orientation markers, completed engineering and architecture work on the Winchester Battlefields Visitors Center, and began redesigning the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, among other interpretive projects.

The SVBF continues to serve as an economic driver in the Valley.  In New Market, our headquarters serves as a hub for local businesses and we’re working with town management on a tourism-based revitalization project.  In Winchester, our museum is a centerpiece of the historic downtown walking mall.  Throughout the Valley, our programs and events draw visitors who spend money at local businesses.  And we’ve helped launched a thriving youth conservation corps that is expanding to new sites in the coming year.

Next year will be better than ever! Plans are underway for significant preservation victories, the creation of a greenway trail in New Market, and additional trails at Fisher’s Hill and Tom’s Brook. We also have exciting new projects such as commencing management of the historic Massanutten Cemetery with graves of over 100 Civil War soldiers; audio tours of New Market and Third Winchester; a virtual reality exhibit at the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum; and the opening of a research library and archives.

Find me another organization in the country that gets as much done with only seven full time staff members. Let’s not stop here. We need your help to achieve even bigger things in 2019. Please make a donation to help us continue this work.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,