by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The field, known as Savage’s Station, owes its name to the at least 900 Union and Confederate soldiers who killed each other here in Henrico County in 1862. The site is now filled with the ambitions of environmentalists, politicians, and solar energy executives.
Richmond area battlefield tour guide Marc Ramsey was surprised to see the green energy plant as he gave a tour of the field, which was part of the Seven Days Battles area. He said the land now dominated by imposing solar panels used to be full of cabbages.
“Of all places to put a solar farm, right in the middle of hallowed ground of a Civil War battle is such a shame, and now it’s lost forever,” Ramsey told the Washington Free Beacon. “There are solar panels as far as the eye can see. It’s totally industrialized.”
Though not against solar energy, Ramsey said it was inappropriate to build a solar plant on land where Americans fought and died. He is a board member of the Richmond Battlefield Association, an organization devoted to buying private land that is unprotected by Virginia’s historic registry. The group attempted to purchase Savage’s Station, but other projects took precedent. “Lots of regrets now—we should have moved heaven and earth to preserve that land,” Ramsey said.
Long-forgotten battlefields have always been vulnerable to the jealous gaze of developers who always see opportunity in seemingly unproductive land. These sites now face a unique threat that comes straight from Richmond—just a few miles down the road from Savage’s Station—where Democrats have initiated green energy mandates that make the land particularly attractive. The average solar plant needs about 6,400 acres of land to equal the operating capacity of a natural gas plant. … The only people standing in the way are local preservationists who are fighting back to save their county’s historic land.