60-acre property near battlefield approved for easement

July 28, 2010

ANNAPOLIS --A 60-acre property near Antietam National Battlefield has been approved for a conservation easement by Maryland's Board of Public Works, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said in a press release Wednesday.

The easement, part of the state's Rural Legacy Program, will preserve the historically significant land, known as the Meyers Property, for future generations, the release said.

"By protecting this land, we are not only supporting an ecologically important area, but preserving an important piece of our State's history," Gov. Martin O'Malley was quoted as saying in the release. "This acquisition ensures that our rich heritage and our great outdoors will be protected for future generations of Marylanders."

The easement will be held by Washington County.

The Meyers Property is historically important due to its role in the Civil War, the press release said.

During the Battle of Antietam, Miller's Sawmill Road, which runs along the property, was used by A.P. Hill's Light Infantry Division to fortify Robert E. Lee against Burnside's division, thereby preventing the destruction of Lee's Army, according to the press release.


Not only did this property witness the flanking of Lee's army, it also provided encampment following the Battle of Antietam for the Union soldiers, the release said.

The easement will also extinguish 47 development rights in the viewshed of Anetietam Battlefield, the release said.

The easement will support wildlife conservation and pollution control, as the protected land includes prime agricultural soils and 1,125 feet of grassland riparian buffers along streams that feed into Antietam Creek, it said.

"Washington County is pleased to partner with the State on this important conservation easement that will protect prime agricultural land within a historically significant area," Eric Seifarth, Land Preservation Administrator for Washington County, said in the release. "We are glad the Governor has such an interest in the history of the Mid-Maryland Washington Rural Legacy Area, and the desire to protect this area."

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