In 1759 Peter Fontaine, Jr. (1724-1773) settled his young family on land he purchased near the forks of the Pamunky River in Hanover County, Virginia, to be closer to the family of his wife, Elizabeth Winston. Among their children who grew up there was William Fontaine (1754-1810), who fought in the American Revolution and witnessed the British Army surrender at Yorktown on 19 October 1781. Almost 81 years later, the house and farm were in the midst of war as military operations rolled through the area between 1862 and 1864. The house, owned by William’s son James Fontaine (1799-1872), was ransacked in May 1864 and the historic memoirs of Peter's grandfather, Jaques Fontaine (1658-1728), thrown onto a bonfire, but were saved by a Union officer. Today those memoirs are safe in the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia.
Today, some 255 years after Peter and Elizabeth Fontaine built their home there, the Fontaine Farm and the North Anna Civil War Battlefield on which it stands are at risk to developers. The Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving Civil War battlefields, has undertaken its largest ever fundraising effort to purchase the 654-acre Fontaine Farm but it needs our help. The Trust must raise $314,000 by mid-August to acquire the property.
Please consider helping the Trust to save a piece of American history and of Fontaine family history on this 150 year anniversary of the battle. Learn more about the battle and consider making a tax-deductible donation.