Saving a Civil War legacy in Shenandoah Valley

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In 1762, the Huntsberry family settled the land along Redbud Run, outside Winchester, with a deed from Lord Fairfax. Eight generations later, Bob Huntsberry spent his summers there as a child, finding old minie balls that had been fired from the muskets of Civil War soldiers. He grew up steeped in elders' stories of the day, late in the summer of 1864, when Union General Philip Sheridan and 39,000 troops came marching in.

Now, Huntsberry, 80, has reached a $3.35 million deal with Civil War preservation groups to protect the land and with it, the little-known legacy of a decisive event in the war.

The sale will preserve 209 acres of woods and hayfields on one of Northern Virginia's most significant battle sites, where Yankee and Rebel forces waged brutal hand-to-hand combat for control of the Shenandoah Valley. Preservation groups will add the land to their holdings to create a 575-acre park with trails, interpretive signs and free public access.

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