In 1940, the War Plans Division of the
Army General Staff developed a plan to establish an army of 4 million men that
would be capable of operating on both the East and West coast simultaneously.
The plan also called for the establishment of a military reservation of
approximately 60,000 acres to be used as a training facility.
The Bowling Green area of Caroline County, Virginia was selected
as the site for the new military reservation. The citizens of Caroline County were opposed to the establishment of the military reservation because of the
negative impact it would have on their community. Eventually the government got
their wishes and moved forward with the plan. The military reservation was
named Fort AP Hill in honor of the Confederate Civil War Lieutenant General
Ambrose P. Hill.
In 1941, the government began to purchase
property and the citizens were required to relocate.
Many buildings including homes, churches and schools were demolished. Some churches moved
to another location, others ceased to exist. Mica High School was the only school left standing. It
became the headquarters for the military reservation. Graves were
exhumed and moved to other cemeteries.
In the Spring of 2007, Fort A.P. Hill initiated an Oral History project to preserve the history of the
communities that existed in the areas that were acquired to establish
the A.P. Hill Military Reservation. As part of this project,
researchers interviewed people who lived, worked or had knowledge
about the people and communities prior to the government acquisition.
They also collected photographs as well.
The final product of the
project was a book titled Wealthy in Heart: Oral History of Life Before AP Hill. A ebook version of the book can be downloaded from the Fort AP Hill blog.
This video is a collection of
photographs and recollections that were gathered as part of the Fort AP Hill
Oral History Project. Courtesy Paciulli, Simmons &
The Fort A.P. Hill Environmental Office contains many documents
regarding the establishment of A.P. Hill. These documents contain of
wealth of information regarding the communities and people that existed
in the area and are valuable resources for those performing genealogy
research on the families that lived in the area.
Many of the documents are contained on this website. The Cultural
Resource Manager is the point of contact for any questions regarding
these documents or genealogy questions. The main office number is (804)