Thomas Hardy on Battlefield Preservation

1 03 2008



In the last Save Historic Antietam Foundation newsletter (which I edit) I was interviewed for a board member profile (you can read it here).  I fear I was a little ineloquent in my expression of concern about the state of Civil War Battlefield preservation.  Specifically, I’ve been bothered by the sometimes heavy handed approach some organizations take with landowners.  We, as people who understand what makes these grounds special to us, often fail to understand, and fail to even try to understand, what they mean to others.  Sometimes, they mean financial security for them and their children, and maybe their children’s children.  Perhaps Thomas Hardy’s thoughts in The Roman Road apply here:

The Roman Road runs straight and bare
As the pale parting-line in hair
Across the heath. And thoughtful men
Contrast its days of Now and Then,
And delve, and measure, and compare;

Visioning on the vacant air
Helmeted legionnaires, who proudly rear
The Eagle, as they pace again
The Roman Road.

But no tall brass-helmeted legionnaire
Haunts it for me. Uprises there
A mother’s form upon my ken,
Guiding my infant steps, as when
We walked that ancient thoroughfare,
The Roman Road.

When dealing with sacred ground, first we need to find common ground.

Photo of a Roman Road in Lancashire is from this site.



One response

29 03 2009
Second Chance « Bull Runnings

[…] Thomas Hardy on Battlefield Preservation […]


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