Friends of Wilderness Battlefield has a cooperative management agreement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to assist in monitoring and maintaining a 48-plus acre battlefield tract in Orange County donated in 2013 by Wal-Mart to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The “Wilderness Tract,” as it is commonly known, was originally purchased by Wal-Mart for the construction of a Walmart Supercenter, a controversial proposal that the company later withdrew after it selected an alternative site for its since-constructed store in Orange County. In September of 2013 the company gifted the Wilderness Tract to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR), and the transaction was finalized and recorded in November of 2013 in the clerk’s office of the county’s circuit court.
During 2014, DHR sought a partner to act as its eyes and ears on the ground and to care for the land, which is situated entirely within the core area of the Wilderness Battlefield as defined by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission. The tract is located along Virginia Route 3 (Germanna Highway and Plank Road) in Orange County and abuts portions of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
“We are delighted to officially partner with Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield,” said Julie V. Langan, director of DHR. “Our small agency has limited staff and resources to devote to managing the Wilderness Tract, so we are grateful to the organization for volunteering to offer this service, at no cost to the Commonwealth.”
The agreement between FOWB and DHR is formalized through a Wilderness Tract Management Plan that spells out the responsibilities of each party. The initial term of the agreement is for two years, during which FOWB will provide regular maintenance of the property.