|From SHAF Tour 2010|
Colonel Dixon S. Miles positioned his Federal troops along Bolivar Heights to defend Harpers Ferry against Stonewall Jackson's wing of the Army of Northern Virginia. He faced long odds in what many historians consider an indefensible position.
We face those same odds today in the wake of development plans for the section of Bolivar Heights pictured above. The cleared section of the ridge has been slated for industrial / commercial development. In the words of Dr. Dennis Frye, "picture a super-Wal-Mart, then picture 16 buildings of that size and cover that ridge in the distance with them." This is the threat.
If you had heard the passion in Dennis's voice when he spoke about this, you would understand his frustration with recent attention given to the Wilderness Wal-Mart, sited close to the Wilderness Battlefield, when actual battlefield land at Harpers Ferry is about to be paved over and lost forever.
How we got to this point is irrelevant. And it's possible this battle may be lost. The zoning is in place and the preservation community does not seem to be mobilized for this fight. So consider this a call to action. As soon as I find out more, I will post it here. Let's hope CWPT is aware of this crisis and planning a campaign to prevent the destruction of a critical portion of a battlefield that witnessed the largest surrender of united States forces prior to World War II.
UPDATE: Check out Harry Smeltzer's post over at Bull Runnings, which has some additional detail on the developers responsible for this mess.