11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Year Listed: 1998
Location: Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Considered to be Lee's greatest battle, the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville encompassed some of the boldest strategy of the Civil War. More than 30,000 casualties were suffered here, among them Confederate icon Stonewall Jackson, mistakenly shot by his own troops. In 1927 sections of the battlefield were incorporated into the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, but most of the land is still privately owned. Today, this once-rural area sits astride a major transportation corridor in one of the nation's fastest growing regions. With land values skyrocketing, the National Park Service needed financial assistance to acquire and preserve key parts of the battlefield that were still subject to development. Ever-increasing traffic led to calls for wider roads, culminating in a proposed superhighway called the Outer Connector that would pass within a mile of the park boundary. Motels, fast-food outlets and parking lots already surround Old Salem Church, a central landmark of the battle.