Limestone mine dispute hangs over key Civil War battlefield

The expansion of a limestone quarry at one of the nation's most endangered Civil War battlefields threatens a mecca for re-enactors of a key Union victory, the National Trust for Historic Preservation warns.

The Cedar Creek Civil War battlefield each year attracts thousands of history enthusiasts for one of the largest battle re-enactments in the nation. The battlefield is located in the northwest corner of Virginia near Middletown.

The National Park Service owns 3,500 acres of the original 15,000-acre battlefield and partners with the trust and the Cedar Creek Civil War Foundation to preserve hundreds more acres. The property also includes Belle Grove Plantation, a National Historic Landmark built in 1794.

The dispute involves the expansion of the quarry and what the trust said is a reversal over expansion of the mining by the foundation, which sponsors the annual re-enactments. The trust said the expansion would include blasting and heavy truck traffic that would threaten the battlefield and Belle Grove and subject visitors to clouds of dust and noise.

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