Download this document in MS Word 97 format

NO. R-305. JOINT RESOLUTION URGING THE U.S. CONGRESS AND THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TO PERMANENTLY PROTECT THE CIVIL WAR SITE HAMILTON'S THICKET NEAR FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA THROUGH ITS PURCHASE BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND ADDITION TO THE EXISTING FREDERICKSBURG AND SPOTSYLVANIA NATIONAL MILITARY PARK.

(J.R.S. 104)

Offered by: Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans County, Senator Bloomer of Rutland County, Senator Canns of Caledonia County, Senator Cummings of Washington County, Senator Doyle of Washington County, Senator Ide of Caledonia County, Senator Mazza of Grand Isle County and Senator McCormack of Windsor County.

Whereas, the First Vermont Brigade stood firm on May 5 and 6, 1864, in the Battle of the Wilderness, near Fredericksburg, suffering 1,234 casualties in the desperate fighting for the intersection of the Brock and Plank roads, and

Whereas, through their bravery and monumental sacrifice the crossroads was held and the Union Army of the Potomac was not sundered, and

Whereas, Brigadier General Lewis Grant, commander of the Vermont Brigade, said after the battle, “The flag of each regiment, though pierced, still flaunts in the face of the foe, and noble bands of veterans with thinned ranks, and but few officers to command, still stand by them; and they seem determined to stand so long as there is a man to bear their flag aloft, or an enemy on the field,” and

Whereas, thousands of other soldiers, Union and Confederate, fought there, particularly during James Longstreet’s flank attack of May 6, 1864, and

Whereas, the land upon which this desperate fighting took place in the Battle of the Wilderness is truly hallowed ground, particularly that land in the southwest quadrant of the Brock-Plank road intersection, where most of the Vermont casualties were suffered, and

Whereas, the Union Army of the Potomac led by Ulysses S. Grant drove on to Robert E. Lee’s surrender a year later at Appomatox Court House, and

Whereas, this historically significant Civil War battle site, now known as Hamilton’s Thicket, remains in private ownership, all attempts having failed to purchase and protect it and make it part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and

Whereas, that land should be forever protected and preserved in honor of the brave men, Union and Confederate, who struggled there, and which the men and women of Vermont supported in every way, and

Whereas, the National Park Service has a continuing commitment to the preservation of Civil War battle sites and to the study of this pivotal episode in American history through programs such as the symposium “Rallying on the High Ground: Strengthening Interpretation of the Civil War” that is being held this May in Washington, D.C., and

Whereas, the people of the state of Vermont care deeply about their American Civil War history and the sites upon which that history was played out, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly declares that this land should be protected and added to the existing Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and asks the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and its National Park Service, to purchase Hamilton’s Thicket, to preserve it forever, and to properly interpret that portion of the Battle of the Wilderness that occurred there, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, U.S. National Park Service Director Robert Stanton and the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.