Wednesday, September 2, 2009
In September of 1977 I packed up my new wife of only three months and transferred to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. There I worked as a Park Ranger on the Protection and Resources Management Division. Our job centered on preserving the original ground and earthworks where four major battles of the Civil War were fought: The battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Courthouse. This also included many historic structures including Chatham Manor - a colonial mansion built in the 18th Century by Hugh Fitzgerald.
Major problems we faced included the encroachment on park boundaries in sensitive areas, illegal metal detecting for civil war period artifacts, commercial poaching of wildlife, and criminal activity that spilled over from the surrounding urban area.
It was while stationed here that I started to gain experience on western wildfire details, structural fire fighting, and served on law enforcement and emergency details in Philadelphia, St. Louis, western Pennsylvania, and Florida.