I was more than a little careless in holding up as a good example the directness of William F. Chaney's actions in buying land at Antietam battlefield. On the one hand, it is a nice counterpoint to the shilly-shallying played at by such as the Civil War Preservation Trust; on the other hand, it is hardly preservation if an historic farmhouse is converted into a souvenir shop, if a statue simulating Lee in a command pose is erected where Lee never commanded, if parking accommodations are expanded on historic acreage, and if more of the same may roll out based on the whim of one mercurial private owner.

Not to mention, as a reader pointed out, that secession is misspelled on Lee's plaque. Note also that the land buy and statue erection were done from the motivation of "correcting" the imbalance between Union and Rebel monuments erected in the course of time (see the linked story, above).

An attendee of the spring meeting of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation wrote to say that SHAF chief Tom Clemens gave an overview of the Chaney affair in which something startling was disclosed.

Jim Lighthizer, the head of Civil War Preservation Trust, apparently testified on Chaney's behalf at the county rezoning hearing that permitted the changes made at the battlefield farm. He appears to have done so over the objections of CWPT advisor Ed Bearss and historian Gary Gallagher. Put another way, if I understand the report correctly, the head of CWPT argued that Chaney should be allowed to commercialize historic, battlefield land.

Pretty amazing and perhaps yet another example of CWPT being run without member or board oversight.