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"Yorktown National Battlefield" Topic

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LeftHook21 Jun 2021 12:00 p.m. PST

Hello all,

As some of you know, the battlefield at Yorktown, Virginia, is badly in need of repair. I am also fighting for funding right now to complete the Siege Lines on the property the park service bought and intended to develop in 1981. My hope is to get at least parts of the American First Siege Line completed, restoring and adding waysides, etc. Your signature would be very helpful in helping visitors & NPS bring attention to this need to the officials with funding authority. It will also help create a better experience for future visitors. I know for me, its places like this that got me into wargaming & toy soldiers. I think we should preserve it in a way that really tells the story and creates opportunities for those that pursue their passion for history.

Thank you for reading.

Milgame21 Jun 2021 12:34 p.m. PST

the link does not appear to be valid. I would like to help, but need a valid link,

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 12:37 p.m. PST

Works for me.

LeftHook21 Jun 2021 12:46 p.m. PST

Mil – I double checked on another browser and it works. Try a different browser perhaps. It's not spam. This is real.

historygamer21 Jun 2021 1:35 p.m. PST

Do you have an estimate how much that will cost? Why aren't you tying it to preparation for the upcoming 250th anniversary of the country? You need more relevant facts in the petition, such as visitation to the area which NPS tracks. You should also point out the money the state spent on their museum and how out if date the current National Park museum is in comparison. Further, there are lots of movers and shakers you could enlist for help such as the DAR, Colonial Dames, SAR, the Society of the Cincinnatus, BAR, BB, CL.

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 2:18 p.m. PST

Excellent, contributed, and may this project achieve much success for preservation and upkeep of the park, thank you!

LeftHook21 Jun 2021 2:23 p.m. PST

HG, Yorktown visitor tracking was previously tied to Colonial National HP and so I received pushback from a legislator that I couldn't "prove" the numbers. Yorktown has since taken steps to capture its own numbers, but nothing is in place as of now that's been turned over to me.

I was advised by someone high up to keep my request "flowery" and "diverse" and "infrastructure & economic" not write too heavy on the emphasis of American history or the upcoming anniversary. I have been told there is "no stomach in legislators to be concerned with funding not tied to these type of words right now." I'm not political. Just following that advice to try and get something.

My main goal or hope for this is someone more powerful and well funded picks it up to move it forward. Or maybe enough people in the groups you mention actually step up and notice the place is a disaster. It certainly doesn't take prescription glasses to see the current condition and raise awareness. I'm kind of shocked nobody else with any power has said anything by now. It's been in decline for years and I just assumed someone was working on it. Then one day I just realized the cannons weren't coming back and the grass was not going to cut.

We seem to have all kind of money for random things lately. I'm just asking for a small part of that to put a few guns back on the field, connect some works, and call it a park. I think someone should have done this by now. It's disappointing.

historygamer21 Jun 2021 3:15 p.m. PST

Couldn't disagree with anything you said. I'll see what I can find out.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 3:38 p.m. PST

We seem to have all kind of money for random things lately.

Like setting off 4000 lbs near the USS Gerald R Ford to test the seams?

LeftHook21 Jun 2021 4:41 p.m. PST

JohnOFM, Mr. Bushnell would have considered that money well spent.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 10:44 p.m. PST

"… not on the emphasis of American history or the upcoming anniversary."

That is absolute garbage. That is exactly what should be part of your pitch. You can also speak to the economic impact the park has on the state and local communities. The state tourism board should be behind this effort. Why wouldn't the state or the Park Service want to promote the upcoming anniversary? Money in the bank.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 10:55 p.m. PST

You might try a fund raiser like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Go Fund Me. Consider starting a foundation which supports the Yorktown battlefield. You aren't going to get anywhere just hoping. Be proactive reach out to potential funding organizations.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2021 11:29 p.m. PST

American Battlefield Trust – Yorktown


Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2021 2:50 a.m. PST

"… not on the emphasis of American history or the upcoming anniversary."

That is absolute garbage. That is exactly what should be part of your pitch."

The current administration and legislative majority are not favorably inclined to US history. I would encourage you to add some details as to what repair work needs to be done.

LeftHook22 Jun 2021 5:26 a.m. PST

Thank you.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2021 6:04 a.m. PST

He's trying to get funding. Give him a break.
That's what he has to do.
Write the petition the way you want it, he won't get a dime.

historygamer22 Jun 2021 8:07 a.m. PST

Battlefield Trust only comes into play in acquiring land, not enhancing existing National Park property – at least as far as I know as a member.

I've worked with NPS Yorktown some years back. Let's just say it was a challenge. Their funding is determined beyond the park, and like most NPS parks, has little to no relation to their visitation. Last time I was there, the museum was a very poor cousin as compared to the much newer state museum across the street. In fact, there are two (confusing) Jamestown parks – one run by the feds, and one run by the state (recreated village, ships, etc.). Further, the park was long shut down by Covid and nor responding to anyone. Odd to think that this October is the 240th anniversary and nothing special is planned.

If there is any pressure to up the state of the current NPS Yorktown park, it might come from the upcoming 250th but would have to be included in the federal budget. Often these things are driven by anniversaries, state and local pressure. I have no idea (but I should) if VA has formed a committee for the impending 250th of the country – though other states have. You might have better luck starting there as well. I'll look to see if VA started a committee for the anniversary.

historygamer22 Jun 2021 8:22 a.m. PST


Perhaps a more useful avenue

There is also supposedly a Virginia Revolutionary 250 Commission established in 2020, but I am not having much luck so far finding anything on them.

historygamer22 Jun 2021 8:49 a.m. PST


Here are some names and contacts you might consider as well.

LeftHook22 Jun 2021 4:03 p.m. PST

HG, thank you very much.

historygamer22 Jun 2021 4:10 p.m. PST

I love the park too. I'm going to keep working this.

LeftHook22 Jun 2021 4:48 p.m. PST

HG, much appreciated. I have have literally walked every yard of the park. I go there almost everyday. In some places that can only be done in winter when all the jungle-like vegetation is dead. My original draft to the state legislature included this – Blueprints at end in the photos (not a good scan – best viewed on an iPad):

PDF link


PDF link

For the Bicentennial, they were able to get funds to complete a lot of things left out of the plans in the 30's. I think that is why people think it is so easy to just cite 250 and magically get the funds. The legislators don't care, and have been pretty open about the fact that nobody has said a word about condition. Some NPS folks say that is not true, and that they have been fighting since the 80s. Local Civil War site park rangers have also chimed in. Yorktown has incredibly preserved Civil War trenches, especially if you know where to look.

In the 1930's a ton of vacant stores and homes existed on key parts of the original sites. I just walked the overgrown French site and found a chimney & foundation of a home that is pictured in the end of the first document above. In the 70's they did a lot of restoration, but they fell short of the American redoubts and earthworks (kinda funny that they reconstructed a ton of French sites, but ran short of the American side). Anyway, the blueprints of what should/could be completed are already in the surveys of that first link. Jerome Greene's work essentially clears up the mystery on artillery in the positions and they pretty much filled the positions with the guns he details. You can see them in the original brochures. So the details are all there. These great people did all the hard work for us.

This October – they cant even fire the parks artillery as those cannons (which were not stored outdoors) have also fallen apart.

Bill N22 Jun 2021 8:38 p.m. PST

The future of the U.S. parks will not be organizations such as Battlefield Trust acquiring park land, but rather with such organizations helping to maintain them.

Zephyr122 Jun 2021 9:34 p.m. PST

Our family visited Yorktown in the early 70's when we lived in VA. I scanned slides of the trip a few years ago. Lots of cannon. It wasn't anywhere near being the (blatant) tourist trap that "Colonial Williamsburg" was… ;-)

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2021 4:38 a.m. PST

And it doesn't need to be a tourist trap, it is a place where soldiers fought and died to establish a sense of freedom, and an independence from the rule of a King, and provide opportunity for a way of self government to exist.

Lefthook … keep us posted on what is happening with this. Some of us are from a long distance away, yet are willing to support the preservation and maintenance of such things, at least until they develop a rolling momentum of their own, and it sounds like this one has a good ways to go yet before that happens.

42flanker23 Jun 2021 6:49 a.m. PST

It's also true some of those soldiers also fought and died for that king.

Although HMG might not be the most ready source of funds. We probably till paying for the real thing.

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