Greetings BRCWRT Members - I hope and trust that you and your family and friends are doing well and are safe and healthy.

This edition of BRCWRT’s Preservation Corner includes information and updates on: 1) the Farr’s Fort preservation and interpretation project at GMU, 2) the status of Civil War historical markers at the Fairfax County Judicial Complex, 3) Fairfax County’s Confederate Named Inventory, 4) a recently installed Dranesville Battlefield historical marker, and 5) Virginia Battlefield Fund Preservation (VBPF) 2021 Grants.

Farr’s Fort Preservation and Interpretation Update

Implementation of the Farr’s Fort Interim Preservation and Interpretation Project Plan is well under way! In early October GMU’s Grounds Program Department, under the direction of Erich Miller and Steve Vollmer, cleared and installed wood chips on the site’s access and interpretive trials, and cleared the redoubt of tree saplings and vegetative undergrowth (see photos, below). Additionally, GMU’s Environmental Graphic Designer John Forgy, in collaboration with BRCWRT’s duo of Jim Lewis and Brian McEnany, has completed the design, content and layout for two, soon-to-be installed, site historical markers.

Currently we have no further information on a potential GMU “dedication ceremony” - - we will provide relevant information to the BRCWRT membership once received. Stay tuned for future updates.

Civil War Historical Markers at Fairfax County Judicial Complex

On September 15, 2020, following a contentious public hearing, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to remove the Marr obelisk commemorating the death of John Quincy Marr, the first soldier killed in action (land combat) in the Civil War, the two Dahlgren howitzers adjacent to the Marr obelisk and Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) Historical Marker B-262, “First Confederate Officer Killed” from the grounds of the Judicial Complex. The BRCWRT submitted written testimony and 17 county citizens, including Blake Myers representing BRCWRT, spoke at the public hearing against removing or relocating the Marr obelisk and the VDHR marker.

After consulting with other local historical societies/organizations and interested parties, on October 7, 2020 BRCWRT filed a petition with the Circuit Court of Fairfax County (CL2020-15495) seeking to prevent the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors from removing the Marr obelisk and VDHR Marker B- 262. The specific grounds for the petition were 1) the Virginia Statue upon which the Board of Supervisors based its actions, 15.2-1812, Memorials for War Veterans, is not applicable since neither of the respective items is a monument or a memorial to a war veteran, and 2) the Board did not publicly disclose its intent to remove these items, nor did it publicly disclose, prior to the public hearing, the proposals to remove the items that were approved immediately following the public hearing.

At the October 15, 2020 hearing, Richmond Circuit Court Judge Margaret Spencer, presiding over the virtual hearing because all local judges had recused themselves, ruled that plaintiffs lacked the legal right, or “standing,” to sue, in that no legislative authority exited that supported claimant's specific


Bull Run Civil War Round Table (BRCWRT) Preservation Corner October 24, 2020

injury or relief. The ruling sidestepped the broader issue raised as to whether the provisions of Virginia statute 15.2-1812, Memorials for War Veterans apply to historical markers. The BRCWRT Executive Committee will review, in concert with its legal counsel, the written basis for the ruling (due o/a November 15, 2020 - within 30 days of the ruling) to determine the advisability of further legal action.

During its October 20, 2020 meeting the Board of Supervisors approved the Staff’s recommendation to transfer ownership of the Marr obelisk to the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society for relocation to Historic Centreville and the two Dahlgren howitzers to Manassas National Battlefield Park (MNBP) for relocation to MNBP, and to return VDHR Marker B-262 to its owner, the State of Virginia.

Meanwhile, the saga regarding the Fairfax County Inventory of “Confederate named places and things” continues....

Fairfax County Confederate Named Inventory

On June 23, 2020 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed the Fairfax County History Commission to prepare and submit (by the end of the year 2020) a report listing a full inventory of Confederate street names, monuments and public places in Fairfax County and on Fairfax county-owned property. The report is to include:

  • A comprehensive list and history of places in Fairfax County named after individuals who held military or governmental responsibilities under the authority of the Confederate States of America between 1861-1865;

  • Identification of the party responsible for renaming the street, monument and/or place;

  • Implications (including legal, cost, and other) of removing Confederate names of public places in

    Fairfax County; and

  • Recommended guidelines with the input of other relevant County Boards and Commissions such as

    the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Architectural Review Board for the renaming/replacement process of Confederate:

    o Monuments
    o StreetNames
    o RecCenters&Parks
    o AdditionalPublicPlaces

  • Input from the County Attorney's office and other relevant county agencies on the renaming process of Confederate names of public places in the County.

  • The list of items was subsequently expanded to include historical markers (e.g., Virginia DHR, Fairfax County and Hunter Mill Defense League markers) and Civil War Trails markers

    Following internal discussions and individual letters and communications with several County District Supervisors, on October 22, 2020 BRCWRT Preservation Chair Blake Myers requested a meeting with Board Chairman Jeff McKay to discuss; 1) concerns that the Board of Supervisors will use a process to


Bull Run Civil War Round Table (BRCWRT) Preservation Corner October 24, 2020

consider actions on the pending Inventory and items on that Inventory similar to the contentious process used to remove the Marr obelisk and VDHR Marker B-262, and 2) the following recommendations:

  • That by the end of November 2020, Fairfax County establish and document an open, transparent, and comprehensive public process and associated timeline that it will follow in considering any action(s) associated with the Confederate Named Inventory and/or items on that inventory;

  • That the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors broadly discuss and publicize this process, as well as the Board’s intent and objectives with respect to the Confederate Named Inventory; and

  • That the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors establish a Civil War History Advisory Group as part of the public process.

    o AdvisoryGroupFunctions:

    • !  Conduct scheduled Advisory Group meetings, which shall be open to the public;

    • !  Bring community values, knowledge, and ideas into Confederate Named Inventory

      discussions and considerations; and

    • !  Develop recommendations for actions, as appropriate, that it believes the Board of

      Supervisors should consider with respect to the Confederate Named Inventory and

      items included on the inventory.
      o AdvisoryGroupmemberstonumbernomorethannine(9),beappointedbytheChairman

      of the Board of Supervisors or the County Executive, and include one representative from each of the following:

      ! Fairfax County History Commission (FCHC);
      ! Celebrate Fairfax, Inc.;
      ! Human Rights Commission;
      ! Fairfax County Planning Division (Historic and Heritage Resources); ! Bull Run Civil War Round Table (BRCWRT);

      ! Friends of the Historic Fairfax Courthouse; and ! Recognized (local) Civil War historian.

      In his October 23, 2020 response to this request, the Chairman’s staff aide responded, “After meeting with the Chairman, he would like to meet with you but we believe that for a more robust meeting and conversation to take place, that you all should meet after the Confederate named inventory and recommendations are given to the Board.” This response is concerning from two aspects; 1) the appropriate time for the discussion is now, prior to submission of the inventory, and 2) apparently “recommendations” are expected to be submitted along with the Confederate Named Inventory – this was not part of the Joint Board Action directive approved on July 14, 2020 – who or what body is making these recommendations, and what is the public involvement in determining these “recommendations”?

      Stay tuned for future adventures as BRCWRT considers its next steps........

Dranesville Battlefield Historical Marker

On Saturday, October 10. 2020 a new historical marker commemorating the December 20, 1861 Battle of Dranesville was installed on the grounds of the Dranesville Church of the Brethren. The marker, including research, content development, design and layout, and installation, was local resident Matthew Moyle’s Eagle Scout project. In addition to his Scout Troop, Matthew was supported in this project by his parents, John and Jenna Moyle, and civil war historians Ryan Quint and Edward Alexander.

The marker is located on what, in 1861, was known as Drane Hill - - which overlooked the route of approaching Confederate forces under the temporary command of Brigadier General J.E.B. Stuart and was the location of three guns from Easton’s Battery of the Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps which was under the command of Brigadier General E.O.C. Ord.

Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund (VBPF) 2021 Grants

On October 1, 2020 the Virginia Department of Historic Resources announced the award of VBPF 2021 grants to four organizations: the American Battlefield Trust, the Capital Region Land Conservancy, the Great Battlefield and Waterways History Foundation and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation to protect 610 acres of historic battlefields - acreage associated with the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, including actions of U.S. Colored Troops.

The grants will be used to leverage private matching donations to preserve land tracts associated with six Civil War battlefields and the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Great Bridge. The six Civil War battlefields include Cedar Creek, Deep Bottom, Fisher’s Hill, Port Republic, Williamsburg and New Market Heights.

Locally, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation combined grants of $606,466 to purchase lands associated with three battles: $100,000 toward the purchase of 120 acres in Shenandoah County associated with the Battle of Fisher’s Hill, and $206,466 toward the purchase of 107 acres in Rockingham County associated with the Battle of Port Republic. The remaining $300,000 will go towards the purchase of 72 acres in Warren County associated with the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Thank for your interest in and support of historic preservation. Stay strong, stay safe and stay healthy!

Blake Myers
Preservation Chair, BRCWRT