December 1, 2022
Dear Shepherdstown Battlefield Supporters,
We did it! Today is the historic day when the Far Away Farm (FAF) is forever protected from development! The Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association (SBPA) contributed substantially to this effort. Today American Battlefield Trust (ABT) closed on the transfer of the farm from the former developer. Work begins immediately to establish a conservation easement to be administered by the Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle, and for an early to mid-2023 transfer of the property from the ABT to the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, current holder of the other battlefield property deeds.
Since 2003, SBPA members and supporters have vastly increased recognition of the key role of the Battle of Shepherdstown as the culmination of the Confederate Army’s 1862 Maryland Campaign. We’ve hosted educational meetings and fund-raising parties in town, information tables at town events, and participated in battlefield and road cleanups, battlefield tours, crossings of the Packhorse / Boteler’s Ford, and Battlefield BBQs! FAF will now be preserved as a permanent monument to the Battle of Shepherdstown, and an indisputable part of our Local, State and National history.
Our knowledge of the battle, farm, and Cement Mill continues to increase! Just this year we met an 80-plus- year-old gentleman who found a Union canteen on the cliffs above the river- when he was just 14 years old! An iron head from a sledgehammer was found at the Cement Mill kilns by a passing kayaker, who was kind enough to contribute it for a future artifact exhibit. Many battlefield tours have been conducted by Dr Tom Clemons and Kevin Pawlak, SBPA board members. This included a first ever tour of FAF.
As public awareness of the battlefield continues to increase, so will issues related to traffic, parking, garbage and vandalism, among others. Our continued participation in battlefield cleanup days, Trough Road garbage pickup, public education programs and battlefield tours is essential to the preservation of the battlefield until an eventual transfer to the National Park Service. Until that is accomplished, we must continue our efforts so these properties are worthy of “National Battlefield Park” status.
Please follow us on our Facebook page and on our website; Sherdstownbattlefield.org. for news and updates as they occur.
We must say Thank You to all SBPA Donors, Officers, Directors and Advisors, Members and battlefield supporters past and present. You have all contributed to a “History Worth Saving”!
On behalf of the SBPA officers and board members,
Michael L. Nickerson
Dr. Mike Nickerson
Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association