Beyond the biennial budget bill, where PEC plans to help lead the charge for increased and dedicated funding for natural resource preservation, there are a few key issue areas we’ll be watching closely over the next two months.
On the stunningly sunny and crystal clear, crisp morning of Saturday, Nov. 6, just ahead of Veteran’s Day, some 200 people from far and wide came together in rural Culpeper County, Virginia to dedicate a new Civil War memorial site honoring three United States Colored Troops killed nearby in 1864 and the contributions of the family of a free Black man, Willis Madden.
While a national reckoning with the impacts of long-standing Confederate symbolism has brought about the sweeping removal of many Civil War statues across the commonwealth, at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, just ahead of Veteran’s Day, a new Civil War monument will rise up in Culpeper County, Virginia. Along Madden’s Tavern Road near the once-booming crossroads of Routes 610 and 724, this granite obelisk will memorialize the ultimate sacrifice of three veterans, United States Colored Troops (USCT) who were captured and executed by 9th Virginia Cavalry troops just 300 yards away on May 8, 1864.
In 1860, free and enslaved African Americans made up half of Fauquier County’s entire population. Black communities like Morgantown, two miles south of Marshall and where Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County President Karen Hughes White and Board Member Angela Davidson were raised, grew out of emancipation. They held powerful meaning as community centers where African Americans could freely do what they could not when they were enslaved: worship, conduct commerce, obtain education, own land.