Where the Battle of Fredericksburg Was Decided
— Civil War Preservation Trust —
As hard as it is to believe, the beautiful and historic landscape you see before you was once on the verge of being bulldozed for an industrial park.
It was here, on December 13, 1862, that Union forces nearly broke through Confederate lines and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. More than 5,000 men in blue and gray fell as a result of the fighting on the Slaughter Pen Farm. Five Medals of Honor were awarded for valor on these fields.
Despite its historic significance, in December 2005 this property was placed on the real estate market. Zoned for industrial development, it was advertised as "one of the best industrial sites in the Commonwealth of Virginia." With a $12 million price tag, its loss seemed a foregone conclusion.
However thanks to the generosity of our 65,000 members, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) was able to step up and purchase this hallowed ground. At the time of the acquisition, it was the most expensive private-sector battlefield preservation effort in American history.
Such an ambitious preservation effort wouldn't have been possible without help. To save this property, CWPT collaborated with the National Park Service, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Central Virginia Battlefeilds Trust, Tricord, Inc and SunTrust Banks, Inc. At a news conference on October 16, 2006, where he announced a $2 million federal grant for protection of the Slaughter Pen Farm, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne called CWPT's efforts here "a model for conservation partnerships throughout the nation."
Without dedicated individuals and organizations, the Slaughter Pen Farm would have been lost to development. CWPT is grateful to the following for their help:Central Virginia Battlefields Trust
Commonwealth of Virginia
National Park Service
SunTrust Banks, Inc
Most of all, thank you to the thousands of individuals and organizations listed on the plaques before you who donated money to protect this historic battlefield.