Visitors now can explore Payne's Farm battlefield

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Orange County's Payne's Farm battlefield is open for business.

The scene of the heaviest casualties during the Union army's 1863 Mine Run campaign, the 685-acre battlefield is one of the most pristine on the East Coast--and least-known.

Now, after years of work by the Civil War Trust, Piedmont Environmental Council and local volunteers, it is beginning to welcome visitors. And thanks to its inclusion in the popular multi-state Civil War Trails program, the site will soon be known to thousands of people across the mid-Atlantic and nation.

A 1.5-mile self-guided walking trail through the site's woods and fields has been built, with the battle's history interpreted by a series of wayside markers that a Civil War Trails crew finished installing last week.

Union Gen. George Gordon Meade, urged on by President Abraham Lincoln, launched the Mine Run campaign in late November 1863 to dislodge and outflank Gen. Robert E. Lee's army, aiming to get between it and Richmond....

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