Ladies and Gents,

Good day to you all. Late joiner to the party here but none-the-less hopefully bringing an important message to you all. 

Fort Patrick Kelly is named for the famed leader of the Irish Brigade, Colonel Patrick Kelly, who was killed charging Battery #14 in Petersburg on June 16, 1864. It occupies part of a plot of 203 acres currently for sale.  The for-sale flyer can be found here.

Above, by the way, is a military map of the works from that time, including the fort, which is located in the corner of the property... Below it is shown without highlight. (See if you can find it.):

Here it is with highlighting:

From the road you can see nothing, as evidenced by this photo:

What is amazing though is how close the southeast moat and wall is to the current state route 629

As you can tell from the shots the proximity to the 95 interchange most likely makes the land occupie by the fort the most valuable of the tract. I have contacted the landowner through his agent about the ability to subdivide by have gotten no word back yet.

The land is currently zoned Agricultural, however, the flyer from the real estate agency trumpets the fact that it can be rezoned.  My fear is the entire area will be turned into an outlet mall or Sonic drive-through (not that I have ANY problem with Sonic).

I am not sure where to go from here, other than the obvious raising of the funds to purchase and preserve the land (which might not be feasible) or to put pressure on the city of Petersburg if and when the purchaser attempts to rezone.  I have been told the problem with Petersburg and historical preservation is that there are currently over 7,800 different spots that have been asked to be considered.

Like I said, I don't know what to do at this point, but I had to trumpet the fact that this could happen in the near future.  I drove by on Monday and took a couple of pics, including this one:

The earthworks are huge and are very much intact, as is the bombproof, etc. ...

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to post or contact on how to preserve this unique historical piece of Irish-American history.

Pat Kelly

Views: 261

Tags: American Civil War, Military History, Preservation, United States, Virginia

Comment by Steve O'Neill on August 15, 2014 at 9:10am
Back in the 90's the Irish Brigade Association replaced Col. Kelly's missing headstone with a new one. We were fortunate to have a photo of the original stone which included the inscription " Faithful to us here, we loved him to the last." A fitting epitaph for a brave soldier.
Comment by Patrick Kelly on August 15, 2014 at 9:15am

This is my favorite quote:

Colonel Patrick Kelly resumed command after the death of Colonel Byrnes, but was killed leading the brigade at Petersburg, Virginia on June 16th, 1864. Kelly, a Galway man who had served as captain with the 69th Militia at Bull Run, was a well loved commander and "strong old veteran soldiers wept like children, and wrung their hands in frenzy."

Comment by Fran Reddy on August 15, 2014 at 2:30pm

Why not start an campaign? You could buy as much of the land as possible for preservation depending on what you can raise.


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