On-line Book
Cover book to Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park. [Image of cannon in the battlefield]
Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park


Table of Contents




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

current topic Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11


Appendix I

Appendix II

Appendix III

Appendix IV

Appendix V (omitted from on-line edition)

Appendix VI

Appendix VII

Appendix VIII

Chapter 8
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Expanding the Boundaries


In a 1973 letter to the chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation, Civil War historian Bruce Catton wrote: "Parks like [Manassas] are of profound importance. They are not obtrusive tourist traps, clamoring for attention, baited by the arts of honky-tonk; they are just quiet bits of land preserving the memory of scenes where heroic men of the north and south displayed a bravery, a devotion and a capacity for self-sacrifice that still have the power to move us." Catton's intention was to justify incorporating the Marriott tract into the Manassas National Battlefield Park, but his words reflect the reasons driving the federal government to expand the battlefield park's boundaries in the 1970s. The Park Service recognized that the 1954 boundary legislation had been effective in incorporating key tracts principally associated with the First Battle of Manassas. The experience of the Marriott theme park proposal accentuated the need to acquire the remaining historically significant lands before they were lost and to obtain buffers to shield the heart of the park from the threat of "honky-tonk" development. [1]

In the embattled route toward park expansion, the Park Service made two key decisions that would have long-lasting repercussions in the field of historic preservation. First, the Service decided to exclude the Marriott tract, including Stuart's Hill where General Robert E. Lee had his headquarters, from consideration. This left the door open for future development on the tract; later proposals would electrify a large and politically influential preservation-minded public. [2] Second, the Park Service failed to present a unified policy with respect to Stuart's Hill. Although NPS historians spoke of the land's importance for interpretive efforts, the Service made no official pronouncements on acquisition. Confusion resulted, with the Park Service sometimes working at cross-purposes to itself. The delay in boundary expansion cost the federal government dearly because of the steadily rising property values and the inability to address effectively future development proposals. [3]

CONTINUED continued


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