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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: Senators Webb, Warner Introduce Bill to Make Petersburg National Battlefield Largest Military Park in U.S.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Senators Webb, Warner Introduce Bill to Make Petersburg National Battlefield Largest Military Park in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A longtime advocate for Civil War battlefield preservation, Senator Jim Webb, in partnership with Senator Mark Warner, today re-introduced the “Petersburg National Boundary Modification Act,” to protect an additional 7,200 acres of historic battlefields surrounding Petersburg National Battlefield. The expansion would make Petersburg National Battlefield the largest military park in the United States.

“Petersburg saw nearly one quarter of the Civil War fought in its surrounding area, and the preservation of these battlefields is important for future generations to understand and appreciate the significance of our nation’s history,” said Senator Webb. “Investing in significant historic landmarks like Petersburg National Battlefield benefits the Commonwealth’s tourism sector.”

“With the approach of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War, this legislation to protect historic grounds is more timely than ever,” Senator Warner said. “Heritage tourism is an important component of Virginia’s economy and the expansion of the Petersburg Battlefield will spur new tourism and jobs in the region.”

Petersburg National Battlefield currently attracts more than 150,000 visitors and generates more than $9 million in local revenue each year. Today’s legislation would give the National Park Service (NPS) authority to acquire 12 battlefields, totaling 7,200 acres, surrounding Petersburg National Battlefield. The expansion would protect historic land currently susceptible to industrial and residential development and positively impact the economy of the Petersburg region.

Senator Webb has been a leader in the Senate on a number of measures to protect and expand Virginia’s battlefields and national parks, provide federal designations for historic sites, and to maintain current landmarks. Passage of his ‘Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act’ in 2009 re-authorized the American Battlefield Protection Program through 2013, and his advocacy has helped save more than 16,500 acres in 14 states. Earlier this month he reintroduced the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Act, which aims to ensure suitable commemoration for Civil War's 150th anniversary.

View full text of the “Petersburg National Boundary Modification Act” here:

View letter of support from endorsing organizations here:


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