November 20, 2013

Sens. Warner, Kaine Introduce Legislation To Authorize Expansion Of Petersburg National Battlefield

Would create largest Civil War historic battlefield in the United States

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced legislation that would authorize the National Park Service to acquire more than 7,000 acres to add to Petersburg National Battlefield. Purchase of the land would make the Petersburg National Battlefield the largest Civil War historic battlefield in the nation. The Petersburg National Battlefield Boundary Modification Act will not spend any money, only authorize the acquisition of land. The legislation also authorizes one small land transfer between Fort Lee and the battlefield.

“I am pleased to introduce legislation with Senator Kaine to expand and protect the Petersburg National Battlefield, the site of the longest sustained siege in American military history,” Sen. Warner said. “This historic battlefield draws visitors from all across the country and adds $11 million annually into the Petersburg economy.”

"This legislation will preserve the story of one of the Civil War’s most decisive engagements, the Siege of Petersburg, while aiding the local economy and boosting regional historic tourism," said Sen. Kaine.  "I applaud my predecessor Senator Jim Webb for his years of leadership on this effort and I am determined to work with Senator Warner and Representatives Forbes and Scott to move this bill forward.”

In 2005, The National Park Service recommended modifying the Petersburg National Battlefield to include 7,238 acres of significant core battlefield land. The land identified for inclusion was the site of 18 major battles during the Civil War and are in danger of being lost to development. These sites are not currently protected within the National Battlefield and have been identified by the Civil War Trust as one of the most endangered group of historic battlefields in the country.

A copy of the legislation is available here.