16 U.S. Code § 410iii–1 - Findings
FindingsCongress finds the following:
The Battle of Cedar Creek, also known as the battle of Belle Grove, was a major event of the Civil War and the history of this country. It represented the end of the Civil War’s Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1864 and contributed to the reelection of President Abraham Lincoln and the eventual outcome of the war.
2,500 acres of the Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove Plantation were designated a national historic landmark in 1969 because of their ability to illustrate and interpret important eras and events in the history of the United States. The Cedar Creek Battlefield, Belle Grove Manor House, the Heater House, and Harmony Hall (a National Historic Landmark) are also listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
The Secretary of the Interior has approved the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District Management Plan and the National Park Service Special Resource Study, both of which recognized Cedar Creek Battlefield as the most significant Civil War resource within the historic district. The management plan, which was developed with extensive public participation over a 3-year period and is administered by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, recommends that Cedar Creek Battlefield be established as a new unit of the National Park System.
The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, organized in 1988 to preserve and interpret the Cedar Creek Battlefield and the 1864 Valley Campaign, has acquired 308 acres of land within the boundaries of the National Historic Landmark. The foundation annually hosts a major reenactment and living history event on the Cedar Creek Battlefield.
Belle Grove Plantation is a Historic Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that occupies 383 acres within the National Historic Landmark. The Belle Grove Manor House was built by Isaac Hite, a Revolutionary War patriot married to the sister of President James Madison, who was a frequent visitor at Belle Grove. President Thomas Jefferson assisted with the design of the house. During the Civil War Belle Grove was at the center of the decisive battle of Cedar Creek. Belle Grove is managed locally by Belle Grove, Incorporated, and has been open to the public since 1967. The house has remained virtually unchanged since it was built in 1797, offering visitors an experience of the life and times of the people who lived there in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The panoramic views of the mountains, natural areas, and waterways provide visitors with an inspiring setting of great natural beauty. The historic, natural, cultural, military, and scenic resources found in the Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove Plantation areas are nationally and regionally significant.
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