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Keven Walker talks importance of local Civil War battles, preservation

Keven WalkerKeven Walker, CEO of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, will speak to the Augusta County Historical Society Spring Meeting March 26 about the beautifully executed Valley Campaign during the Civil War, two decisive local battles and why they must be preserved for future generations.

Under the topic “The Future of the Past:” Jackson’s Valley Campaign and Battlefield Preservation,  Walker will describe the Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic in Jackson’s campaign, and why those battles and the campaign are still used as examples in military schools around the world.  The talk will be in the Board of Supervisor’s Room at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona.  It will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 26, and is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served following the presentation.

Walker came to the SVBF from the Antietam National Battlefield where he was a Ranger, a Cultural Resources Specialist, and the Acting Cultural Resource Program Manager.  During his 11 years with Antietam, he served as a member of the National Park Service’s national advisory team on cultural resources and historic preservation and was selected for the GOAL academy, the National Park Service’s highly competitive leadership program. He’s also the author of “Antietam: A Guide to the Landscape and Farmsteads.”

Since Walker joined the SVBF in 2014 he has led several of the organization’s largest ever efforts and  preserved over 600 acres of battlefield land.  The Foundation has also opened two visitor centers and a 600 acre full service battlefield park; more than tripled its youth development involvement; and assumed management of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum.  He has also strengthened the SVBF’s partnerships both in the Valley and nationwide.

The Battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic were the final and decisive battles in Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.  Occurring on June 8 and 9, respectively, in 1862, they enabled Jackson to force the last of the Union forces out of the Valley so he could move his army to Richmond and support General Robert E. Lee at the Seven Days Battles.

The ACHS was founded in 1964 to study, collect, preserve, publish, educate about, and promote the history of Augusta County and its communities.

More information is available online at www.augustacountyhs.org.

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