CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the Jefferson County Farmland Protection Board will receive $492,097 for the preservation of 149.6 acres at Shepherdstown Battlefield in Jefferson County.
This funding was made available through the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, which receives support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Senator Capito voted to permanently authorize the fund through the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020.
The Battle of Shepherdstown, also known as the Battle of Boteler's Ford, took place September 19–20, 1862, at Boteler's Ford along the Potomac River, during the Maryland campaign of the American Civil War.
After the Battle of Antietam on September 17, General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia withdrew across the Potomac. Lee left a rear guard commanded by Brigadier General William N. Pendleton at Boteler's Ford.
On September 19, elements of the Union V Corps dueled with Pendleton's artillery before pushing a short distance across the river at dusk. Pendleton inaccurately informed Lee that all of the artillery of the rear guard had been captured.
On the morning of September 20, the Confederates counterattacked with A. P. Hill's Light Division, forcing the Union units back across the Potomac. One Union unit, the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, did not withdraw at the same time as the others and suffered heavy losses. Lee's army continued its retreat into the Shenandoah Valley after the battle.
Senator Capito emphasized the value of battlefield tourism in the U.S. and the need to illustrate the role of what's now West Virginia in the formation of the country.
“The preservation of battlefields is an important aspect of maintaining our country’s history, and I’m encouraged to see NPS providing funds to do just that in West Virginia,” she said.
"Protecting the Shepherdstown Battlefield will help generations learn about West Virginia’s formation in 1863 and the role our state has played in the foundation of our nation.”
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