Stafford Civil War Park, Stafford Co., Virginia Gets two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles
Stafford Civil War Park Project
In June, 2006, the Friends of Stafford Civil War Sites (FSCWS), a local Stafford County Non-profit, identified Civil War Union Army encampment, battery, and road remains on undeveloped land owned by Stafford County and Fredericksburg VA and proposed a park be built to preserve them. In 2009, Stafford County, Fredericksburg and the FSCWS agreed to a plan by which, if the FSCWS obtained the necessary easements to the proposed park, and raised the majority of funds, labor, and materials necessary for the park, Stafford County would then take this park into its park system and open it to the public free of charge. The park exists today in no small measure due to key material contributions including 6000 tons of stone from Vulcan Materials Inc., concrete cast pipe from the Americast Hanover Pipe Plant, engineering support from Stafford made possible by a grant from the Civil War Trust, asphalt at cost from Virginia Paving and a grant by the Archaeological Institute of America for park signs as well as many smaller, yet still critical, donations of time and money from countless individuals.
Perhaps most important of all donations were three “Innovative Readiness Training Exercises”, the FSCWS proposed to the VA Army and Air National Guard that were conducted during the summers of 2011 and 2012. These exercises provided great training to VA Soldiers and Airmen on key combat skills, and have been estimated to have been worth as much as 2 million dollars to the park. Construction was managed by the FSCWS, and directed and completed by the VA Army Guard’s 276th Engineer Battalion, and the Virginia Air Guard’s 203rd Red Horse Engineer Squadron. Together, these Soldiers and Airmen cleared the land, graded, hauled stone for, and compacted the park roads, installed culverts and pipe and paved nearly three quarters of a mile of roads and parking areas. Throughout the process Stafford County assisted with engineering, permitting and other tasks as did many FSCWS members. The effort was strongly supported throughout by the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and Fredericksburg City Council who set aside the land for this project. It was a true team effort.
This park, including the many historic sites now preserved there, will open to the public on 27 April, 2013 after which it will remain open to honor soldiers past and present while relaying the story of the 135,000+ soldiers who encamped throughout Stafford County in 1863, 3,500 of which died that winter. The park will also honors Stafford’s civilians, who were outnumbered by Union soldiers over 15 to one in 1863, and could only watch as their fields became camps, their homes headquarters or hospitals, and their woods were consumed in thousands of campfires.
Glenn A. Trimmer, Executive Director, Friends of Stafford Civil War Sites
Steen Cannon & Ordnance Works is suppling the new park with two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles on all-aluminum gun carriages.