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Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Sgt. Major Christian Fleetwood depicted saving the Fourth United
States Colored Troops colors at the battle of New Market Heights
GUEST BLOG / By Jim Lighthizer, President, American Battlefield Trust


Fourteen Medals of Honor. More than 800 casualties, including more than 130 dead. A small but significant step toward Union capture of the Confederate capital. And a noteworthy step toward a new birth of freedom in the United States.

My friend, the story of New Market Heights is about much more than an 80-minute attack to advance the Union army line toward Richmond. Major General Benjamin Butler knew of their courage when he sent United States Colored Troops (USCT) to lead the charge that day - and he sought avenues to recognize their bravery and fortitude afterward.

Today, you and I have the chance to preserve another 22 acres (map) at New Market Heights, adding to the 65 acres we have saved there previously and helping ensure that this important story will never be forgotten. This property was traversed by soldiers from the USCT on their obstacle-ridden journey through a hail of artillery toward Confederate fortifications. Connecticut and New Hampshire regiments also plunged across the land we are working to save today.

The cost to purchase these 22 acres in the heart of the battlefield is $260,000, with another $20,000 needed to remove a modern house. We hope to receive half of the purchase cost from the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund, which would leave $150,000 to be raised by preservationists and history lovers like you and me.

Will you help the Trust raise the $150,000 we need to save this land and better tell the crucial story of New Market Heights? I hope so, because otherwise, this hallowed ground could end up as the newest subdivision of modern houses (probably called something appalling like "Battlefield Heights") and cul-de-sacs on the outskirts of rapidly expanding Richmond!
4th USCT 1864 New Market Heights, VA.
Thank you for all you continue to do for the cause of battlefield preservation, my friend. You are making an impact that will last for as long as there is a United States of America.

Please visit our website today to learn more about the history of this battle and give as generously as you can to protect its legacy.

'Til the battle is won.

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