South Mountain Civil War properties

Yesterday's news section linked this Hagerstown Herald-Mail news story about Maryland's purchase of two properties near South Mountain; readers browsing the report noticed that there were few deal details, with only the governor being mentioned as a principal in this action.

Some additional information emerged from yesterday's Frederick News-Post (the story does not seem to be online). The report appears in the Regional section and is by Liz Babiarz.

The Hagerstown story says "The 31-acre Robertson property and the Ceres Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church will become part of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' South Mountain State Park, which includes the battlefield, Ehrlich's office said in a news release."

Sounds like they are transforming their patchwork of easements from a virtual to a real battlefield park. However, the Frederick story cites Natural Resources as saying the properties will become "part of the newly developed Civil War Trail, 'Lee Invades Maryland.'"

Maybe those are not contradictory missions, but I wonder which is mission one.

The Frederick News-Post quotes an official of the State Highway Administration (which granted the money to acquire the properties) as saying the governor and his transportation secretary made "the final decision on what lands would be protected." There was some sort of list involved: "They selected seven tracts for preservation." This paper also credits Delegate Rick Weldon who "personally advocated" the two selected sites.

"Something" is happening here and it would be nice to know exactly what .