Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/231

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Virginia Battlefield Park.


Fredericksburg's Effort in This Direction—Concentration

The Richmond Dispatch, after alluding to the proposition that the United States Government shall establish a national military park at or near Fredericksburg and Richmond, says:

"We should like to see the vicinity of Richmond chosen for the site of the park; but if we can't have our wish about that we shall be glad to support the next best proposition looking to practical results. Of course, we old Confederates cannot hope to have things all our own way. To get any scheme through Congress it must be backed strongly by veterans of the gray and blue both."

The Dispatch in this matter seems to have quite naturally, as the oldest paper at the State capital, a very proper touch of State pride, and the Free Lance proposes to tell the Dispatch and through it the people of Virginia what has been done in the Fredericksburg and adjacent National Battle-Fields' Park matter, and to ask the Dispatch if it does not, as a State organ, believe that the Fredericksburg park matter is "backed strongly by veterans of the gray and blue both."

The Fredericksburg Battle-Field Park matter was taken up, first, by our City Council, in February, 1896, and a committee appointed to inaugurate it. Thereafter, in April, 1896, a meeting was held in our Opera-House. at which Congressmen Jenkins (Republican), of Wisconsin; Walker (Republican), and Jones (Democrat), of Virginia, were present, and gave the matter hearty approval.

I. Then provision was made for a joint commission, a voluntary unincorporated body, to consist of members from Fredericksburg, Orange, Spotsylvania, and Stafford, and gentlemen from each of the counties named and Fredericksburg wen-selected to push the proposition. These gentlemen at once saw, following in the footsteps of Chickamauga, that an incorporation was not only desirable, but necessary, and thereupon