14 Jul 2018

Two Sieges, Two Centuries, 50 Acres of Priceless American History

Two Sieges, Two Centuries, 50 Acres of Priceless American History

A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about a piece of highly threatened hallowed ground in Yorktown, Virginia that was significant to both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. You may remember that thanks to an unprecedented $76-to-$1 matching opportunity, we needed to raise just $74,000 to secure this land, a transaction with a total value of $5.64 million.

Thanks to generous donors like you, we’re halfway there! But we still need to raise the other half before this unique opportunity passes us by - so if you haven’t yet contributed, I urge you to do so today.

Using period maps, we know that French regiments under Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, the comte de Rochambeau, who were key allies in Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army, were encamped at this land, and moved across this parcel to take their respective positions during the siege that would ultimately end the Revolutionary War.

Day by day, the Americans and the French tightened the siege lines around Lord Charles Cornwallis’ British army, which, let’s not forget, represented the greatest military power of the age. Finally, white flags of surrender fluttered along the lines, and on October 19, more than 8,000 British soldiers stacked arms as their bands played “The World Turned Upside Down.”

Today, in July of 2018, you and I have the chance to save 50 acres of land associated with this key moment in our country’s history, which is currently zoned and platted for a subdivision of 100 houses. If bulldozers and road graders level these tracts, the stories told by its pristine, wartime-era landscape will be lost forever.

Eighty-one years after the Revolutionary War was won, a Civil War soldier of the 4th North Carolina wrote, “We are exactly on the battle ground of Washington and Cornwallis, but all that remains to be seen are the old breastworks of the British, which lie immediately behind ours. The Yankees hold the same position that Washington did.” Even then, as the ground was hallowed once again in his own time, that soldier recognized the sacred history of this place.

My deepest thanks go to all who’ve contributed to save these 50 acres of hallowed ground. If you haven’t donated, please help us reach the finish line and preserve this irreplaceable American history.

Between the fact that this hallowed ground was associated with our nation’s two most important wars and the amazing match of $76-to-$1, I can honestly say this is a singular opportunity. Please visit our website right now to learn more about Yorktown and help save this land today!


American Battlefield Trust

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