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Stafford's war page 2
Saving Civil War sites: Stafford moves forward.

 Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 3/25/2005

continued

Seven redoubts like the one that may have been destroyed survive in Stafford, says Mr. Newton. Of the roughly 630 regimental camps, half are gone, while half are in farmland and potentially savable. The pilings of Burnside's wharf below Aquia Landing may still be seen, and cannon pits along the Rappahannock and gun emplacements near New Hope Church are in evidence.

All these remnants of the past can be cataloged and many saved, but this will take the concerted efforts of developers, landowners, historians, and Civil War buffs. Mr. Newton generously reminds us that "it was the Union army's suffering and blood that kept this country together." Honoring that sacrifice by identifying and preserving Stafford's hallowed ground is a moral obligation.

Postscript

One can hardly think of a more appropriate place to preserve a Civil War site than a school. Three acres of an eight-acre Union campsite at a new middle school being built in Stafford at the corner of Deacon and Brooke roads are wisely being left untouched so that students can experience history firsthand through archaeological digs.

What a great idea. Kids will be able to plunge right into the past, and one suspects that after discovering real bullets and uniform buttons in their own back yard they will never again yawn when history class rolls around. Congratulations, Stafford schools, on your creative thinking.


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