Quarry donates VI Corps land to CCBF
Carmeuse and the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (CCBF) jointly announced today the donation of 28.6 acres of historically significant core battlefield land on the Cedar Creek Battlefield. The donation was revealed at a news conference held at 10 A.M. on Thursday, September 27, at Hupp’s Hill Civil War Museum in Strasburg.
“I am thrilled that this core battlefield land will be preserved for future generations,” said Jim Bottom, Area Operations Manager for the Carmeuse limestone quarries at Strasburg, Middletown and Clear Brook, Virginia. “Carmeuse greatly appreciates the partnership with Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation over the past few years, and we look forward to many more years working together.”
The land was occupied by the Northern army’s VI Corps during the opening phases of the strategically important 1864 Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek, where Union forces under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan decisively defeated the Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early. The battle was the largest engagement fought in the Shenandoah Valley during the war, and historians credit the Union victory with guaranteeing the reelection of Abraham Lincoln that November.
Tim Stowe, President of the CCBF Board of Directors said, “The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation is grateful for this very generous land donation by Carmeuse. Preserving lands associated with the Battle of Cedar Creek is one of the primary missions of the CCBF and with this donation; Carmeuse has helped us leap forward. We have a unique partnership with Carmeuse and look forward to continuing to work with Jim Bottom and his team.”
Dr. Clarence Geier, professor of archaeology at James Madison University, spoke of the property’s role during the fighting on the morning of October 19, 1864. Portions of the Union army’s VI Corps were encamped there when they were called upon to stem a surprise Confederate attack that threatened to destroy the Northern forces. They fought a desperate delaying action to buy time for the remainder of the army to retreat and reorganize.
The land, which is near the quarry operated by Carmeuse Lime and Stone, Inc. at Middletown, is known locally as the Northern Reserve. It has been one focus of a 500-acre archeology study by the James Madison University Archeology Program under Dr. Geier. The archeology study, conducted as part of the rezoning of quarry land, is due to be completed next summer at an estimated cost of $600,000. So far the study has uncovered over 6,000 artifacts from the Battle of Cedar Creek, which have been donated to the CCBF. A portion of these objects are currently on display at CCBF’s Hupp’s Hill Civil War Museum in Strasburg. It is expected that several thousand more artifacts will be uncovered before the study is complete. Under a 2008 agreement between Carmeuse and CCBF, all artifacts discovered will be donated the CCBF and will be held in trust for the public benefit.
Carmeuse Lime and Stone, Inc. purchased the quarries at Clear Brook, Strasburg, and Middletown from Oglebay Norton in 2008. At that time, Carmeuse made a donation of eight acres of core battlefield land to CCBF with the possibility of more land donations pending the conclusion of the archeological survey.
Carmeuse Lime and Stone, Inc. is a subsidiary of Carmeuse Group. Headquartered in Belgium, the privately held Carmeuse Group is a leader in producing and supplying all forms of limestone and its derivatives, operating in about 90 locations in Italy, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bosnia, Turkey, Ghana, the United States and Canada.
The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring, protecting, and preserving the lands and physical objects related to the Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek for the educational benefit of scholars and the general public. The Foundation’s administrative offices are located at 8737 Valley Pike in Middletown, Virginia. The Foundation also operates a new museum on the Battle of Cedar Creek at Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park at 33229 Old Valley Pike in Strasburg.