Chesterfield Civil War historian honored

George Fickett could tell you where the bodies are buried. He could also tell you where every Civil War fort, earthworks, battlefield, hospital, river battle and splash of blood is left from the biggest confrontation this area saw during the War Between the States.

It stands to reason that Mr. George L. Fickett, Jr., would be “commended and recognized for his dedicated and outstanding volunteer service to Chesterfield County.”

The Chesterfield Board of Supervisors honored Mr. Fickett last week with a resolution for his volunteer work in locating and saving a number of Civil War sites that played an important role in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign.

“George has done more to save Chesterfield’s battlefields than practically anyone. And I think he’s a Yankee,” Jim Daniels said laughing. “He’s always had a balanced view toward the war.

He’s taken interest in Union fortifications when nobody knew about them or cared.” Daniels is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Chester Station Camp #1503.

Mike Golden, director of Parks and Recreation said Fickett has “provided unwavering support and commitment for more than 27 years to preserve historic battlefield properties in Chesterfield County.” Golden added that Fickett has been able to save eight historic battlefield properties in Chesterfield County, and he is presently working on saving the Second Battle of Port Walthall Junction site and Battery Brooke.

The background information on Fickett stated that Fickett was instrumental in raising funds to develop a self-guided driving tour in 1993 and helped with establishing the beginning of the Civil War Trail Network. Mr. Fickett has been recognized for his commitment by the National Park Service with the “Take Pride in America” award in 1987 and the Virginia State Park’s “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2004.  

“He has written numerous articles for various Civil War publications and is a recognized local historian on the Bermuda Hundred Campaign,” said Golden during the presentation.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission at their May 3, 2012 meeting voted to nominate Mr. Fickett for the Lifetime Volunteer Award that exemplifies an individual’s exceptional degree of accomplishment in mentoring, philanthropy and the ability to empower and instill passion in the community.

Ficket was also involved with a team of a number of local history enthusiasts to develop “The Bermuda Hundred Campaign: A Tour Guide”, a 58-page driving tour guide that covers the 26 sites of the well-known Civil War campaign.

“The project was a team effort among a number of local history buffs; Scott Williams, George Fickett, retired Army Major Robert Forman (who served as principal author), David Malgee, Eric Chandler, George Cranford, Courtney Rogers, Ben Uzel, and George Reynolds. Forman served as principal author of the work, with his daughter Shannon providing the graphic design work,” according to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Chester Station Camp #1503 website.

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