Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 06/26/10
Battle of Glendale Anniversary Marked with Dedication Ceremony
Civil War Preservation Trust and 69th Pennsylvania reenactment group unveil historical marker
(Glendale, Va.) – Just in time to mark the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Glendale, officials from the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) and members of the 69th Pennsylvania Irish Volunteers reenactment unit have unveiled and formally dedicated a new historical marker on the battlefield. The historical marker depicts the charge of the 69th Pennsylvania’s namesake regiment to retake a captured artillery position during the June 30, 1862 Battle of Glendale.
“Once a piece of historic land has been permanently protected, it is always our goal to see that it is interpreted for the public, so visitors can better understand the significance of what happened there,” said CWPT chief operating officer Ron Cogswell. “Today we mark the beginning of that process here at Glendale.”
The Battle of Glendale, also referred to as Frayser’s Farm, was fought on June 30, 1862. Earlier that spring, the federal Army of the Potomac had launched an offensive up the Virginia Peninsula in an attempt to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond. After pushing with seven miles of the city, Northern fortunes turned when Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate Army and began steadily driving the invaders back from the capital during his famous Seven Days Campaign, of which Glendale was the fifth major engagement. Rebel attacks were poorly coordinated and, despite an initial rout, Federal forces withdrew to a strategic defensive position at Malvern Hill. The piecemeal nature of the Confederate attack led to enormous casualties -- more than 6,000 killed, wounded or missing on both sides — and kept Lee from crippling the retreating Union Army.
The new marker celebrates the successful bayonet charge by the 69th Pennsylvania “Irish Volunteers,” who recaptured a Union artillery battery near the Whitlock House that had been taken by Confederate forces earlier in the fighting. It was constructed by Civil War Trails, Inc., of Richmond, Va. and financed by the 69th Pennsylvania.
“The charge at Glendale was a seminal moment in the history of our storied regiment,” said John Kopich, captain and commander of the 69th Pennsylvania reenactment unit. “We are exceedingly proud that it has been commemorated in such a meaningful and lasting way.”
The new marker is the first to be installed on the Glendale Battlefield in some time, and is part of a dramatic resurgence in land protection efforts at the site. In recent years, CWPT has purchased 577 acres of land at Glendale — 251 of them have already been transferred to the National Park Service. The success is even more significant when taken together with our efforts at the neighboring Malvern Hill Battlefield, where fighting occurred the next day in the summer of 1862. All told, CWPT has protected 1,336 acres at the two sites, creating a contiguous preserve of 1,468 acres of battlefield land.
“The preservation success at Glendale defies comparison — there has been nothing like it before in Virginia,” said Robert E.L. Krick, historian for Richmond National Battlefield, who also spoke at the event. “Never before in modern times has anyone preserved a major battlefield virtually from scratch.”
Not content to rest on past successes, however, CWPT continues to target additional acreage at Glendale for protection. Currently the organization is involved in a fundraising effort to purchase seven more acres of the battlefield, with hopes for further acquisitions in the future. To learn more about the current effort visit www.civilwar.org/battlefields/glendale.html.
In addition to the dedication of the marker, the ceremony featured approximately 30 uniformed members of the 69th Pennsylvania recreating the march made by their forbearers from the Nelson Farm to the Whitlock House, crossing fields and wooded terrain. Upon their arrival, the living historians fired a musket salute, signaling the official unveiling. Among the attendees at the ceremony were several area residents who have sold land to CWPT for its permanent protection and eventual integration into Richmond National Battlefield.
With 55,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. CWPT has preserved more than 29,000 acres of battlefield land across the nation, including 577 acres at Glendale. CWPT’s website is www.civilwar.org.