Slaughter Pen Farm Still Needs You | American Battlefield Trust
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Buddy Secor

Slaughter Pen Farm Still Needs You

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202o Update: Thanks to dedicated preservationists like you, we have paid down 88% of the Slaughter Pen Farm debt, but we still need your help to see it protected forever!

Way back in 2006, battlefield preservationists went above and beyond to save the Slaughter Pen Farm from industrial development with an investment of $12 million – because the history was that important. Today, thanks to donors like you, this hallowed ground has been preserved and restored – but our work isn’t over. 

The Opportunity

The Trust’s purchase of 208 acres of the Slaughter Pen Farm for $12 million in 2006 was the largest transaction we’ve ever undertaken, and the largest private battlefield acquisition in history. We can say without a doubt that it was well worth the cost given the historical significance of this hallowed ground, but it was a big commitment that we’re still making payments on today.

Each year we’ve relied on devoted members like you to help us meet our annual commitment of $300,000 to continue preserving this vital piece of American history for future generations. We are only $1.4 million away from paying off this historic land deal, meaning that we have paid off 88% of the purchase price of the Slaughter Pen Farm!

And now, a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous has agreed to match all contributions up to $150,000 to make this year’s payment so we are one step closer to preserving this incredibly significant battleground, forever.

The History

On December 13, 1862, Federal troops marched across muddy farm fields south of Fredericksburg. The main assault of the Battle of Fredericksburg struck a weak point in the Confederate line, touching off a seesaw battle that raged from the wooded slopes of Prospect Hill and across the shell-swept plain of what is now known as Slaughter Pen Farm.

By the end of the day, more than 9,000 Americans – Union and Confederate – had become casualties in one of the worst Union defeats of the Civil War. Five of the men who fought there would receive a Medal of Honor for their bravery. Today, this hallowed ground inspires modern Medal of Honor Recipients with the stories and history that it holds.

What Could Have Been

Please take a moment to look at the image below:

The Slaughter Pen Farm at Fredericksburg: What Could Have Been
Peter Giraudeau


This artist’s rendition represents the Slaughter Pen Farm, or rather, what the Slaughter Pen Farm was destined to look like if no one stepped up to the plate to defend this vital piece of our country’s history.

Now, thanks to you, instead of seeing an airport runway, 98 townhomes, and commercial and industrial development, future generations will be able to walk across the Slaughter Pen Farm, in the footsteps of the soldiers who fought and died for what they believed in, gaining a deeper understanding of the events that unfolded there.

Please help us preserve the memory of those brave Americans who sacrificed so much by continuing to protect the Slaughter Pen Farm with your most generous gift today.

The good news is that in thirteen years, we have already paid off most of this land – ground which is as pristine today as it was on the day of the battle more than 150 years ago, when the soldiers experienced it. This is a tremendous accomplishment.
Jim Lighthizer, American Battlefield Trust President




Fredericksburg - Meade and Gibbon Advance - December 13, 1862
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