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Posted on Aug 10, 2007 in History News

Candlelight Vigil for Harpers Ferry – August 17

Armchair General

To: Friends of Battlefield Preservation

One year ago next week, the preservation community was stunned by the unauthorized bulldozing of protected battlefield land at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (NHP). During the weekend of August 19–20, 2006, a consortium of local developers arrogantly dug an enormous 1,900-foot trench on National Park Service (NPS) property on historic School House Ridge, then proceeded to lay a water and sewer line without a permit or permission from NPS.

The response to the unauthorized bulldozing was immediate and impassioned. Thousands of Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) members signed petitions urging the Department of the Interior to take action against the perpetrators of this outrage. We were joined by other national and local groups who expressed dismay at these events. And we waited patiently for the federal government to stand up and protect land we had worked so hard to preserve for future generations.


Now, one year later, the time has come to renew our call for action—to ensure what happened at Harpers Ferry in 2006 cannot happen again. Many of you in the last year have asked us, “What can we do to help?” Let me tell you. . . .

On the evening of Friday, August 17, 2007, CWPT, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will host a candlelight vigil on the site of the unauthorized digging of hallowed battlefield land. We will be joined by several local preservation groups who have been fighting the good but often lonely fight against development at Harpers Ferry .

Please, please, consider attending this important event. I know it is never easy to get away in August, because of family vacations, etc. – which is exactly why the developers hatched their plot when they did. For those of you who can attend, there will be a special tour of the battlefield in the afternoon (weather permitting, of course).

WHAT: Candlelight Vigil and Remembrance at Harpers Ferry NHP

WHEN: Friday, August 17, 2007, at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Perry Orchard Property, Harpers Ferry NHP, near the intersection of Routes 27 and 340, Jefferson County , W.Va.

I hope you can attend – to show that the preservation community remains outraged and frustrated that a handful of individuals could wantonly and defiantly destroy America ‘s heritage. If you have any questions, please reply to this email or contact CWPT at 1-800-298-7878.

As always, thank you for your support and enthusiasm for battlefield preservation.


Jim Campi

Jim Campi, Policy and Communications Director
Civil War Preservation Trust
1331 H Street NW
Suite 1001
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 367-1861