How You Can Help
The fort sits on a 10-acre rural island of once-glorious farmland in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The bugles are silent, the heroes are buried, but the earthworks are still there. So is a German-American family’s proud old farmhouse. So is the view down the Martinsburg Pike, where at dusk on September 19, 1864, the ground shook as some 6,000 Union cavalrymen exploded onto the Confederate defenders, hunkered down in the trenches. Rebel General Jubal Early’s line bent and broke. The Third Battle of Winchester was all but over, a major Confederate loss.
It’s arguable that this onslaught was the beginning of the end of the Rebels’ tenuous hold on the Shenandoah Valley. The Valley was the key to Virginia, and Virginia was key to the War.
Unquestionably, significant history was made that day in 1864. On this very spot.
Today, Fort Collier cries out to us from across the centuries. It deserves our attention, our care, our funds. Before time takes further toll on the land and the house, Fort Collier needs to be preserved. The earthworks need to be preserved. The house will be transformed into the Fort Collier Civil War Center. A place to visit, to walk among the earthworks and hear the land speak of its history, a home for the William W. Layton Collection and Museum of period books, documents, and ephemera, a location for the Civil War Preservation Trust’s Explorer Database, a home for the Robert Price Collection of Civil War Toy Soldiers, a conference center for small corporate meetings and social events, and a venue for Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute Tuscarora Brass military music ensemble – Fort Collier can be all this and more.
The key word is “can.” Fort Collier has survived for many years, but it may not survive much longer without your help. Please join our preservation efforts! Your tax-deductible donation will help to restore and preserve the site for this and future generations.