Senators' plan would make Petersburg Battlefield the largest - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Senators' plan would make Petersburg Battlefield largest in nation

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

Will Petersburg soon be home to the largest Civil War battlefield in the country? It will if Senators Warner and Kaine get their way. Their proposal calls for the National Park Service to acquire an additional 7,000 acres that otherwise, could be lost to development.

When you have history sitting in your own backyard, why not do all you can to preserve it? That's what rangers at the Petersburg Battlefield are saying, praising new efforts for expansion.

Sitting on 2700 acres of land, the Petersburg Battlefield is only a fraction of what the National Park Service feels it should be.

"The land increase would be significant to say the least," said Chris Bryce with the Petersburg Battlefield.

Add an additional 7000 acres to this historic site and park rangers say they can better tell the stories that played out right here in the mid 1800s.

"We have a real opportunity to expand on lands that we already have but also to better tell the story, a complete story of what happened in Petersburg over nine and a half months," Bryce added.

Both Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are on board. This week, they introduced a bill to make the vision a reality. It's a second attempt after similar legislation failed to pass two years ago in Congress. Visitors at the park are welcoming it.

"I like that we have so many national parks that explore these things and preserve a lot of these historical items," said Andrew Carmichael.

If it passes, the park service says you could expect more trails and markers highlighting significant events - as opposed to commercialization.

"Battlefields that are closer to more urbanized areas, [like] Washington, D.C., a lot of those are now underneath shopping malls, housing developments where here in Petersburg, we're still left with the battlefields that are very much intact," Bryce said.

He says they're not only intact, but also ready to be shared with the nation.

"To have the ability to come 150 years after the event and stand on the very same ground these soldiers walked over, slept on, died on, that's one of the biggest takeaways," he said.

Perhaps the timing couldn't be any better. Next year, the park will commemorate 150 years since the Siege of Petersburg, and rangers are hoping that momentum will pave the way for progress

The Petersburg battlefield pumps some $11 million into the local economy.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Arrest records of Rosa Parks, MLK to be preserved

    Sunday, May 20 2018 11:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 15:41:33 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:38 PM EDT2018-05-20 21:38:10 GMT
    (Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...(Alabama State University via AP). This photo shows the signature of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on a court document in the archive of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. The school is preserving and digitizing historic court documents lin...

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    More >>

    Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

    More >>
  • Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

    Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:41 AM EDT2018-05-20 10:41:19 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:34 PM EDT2018-05-20 21:34:56 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis asperges holy water as he celebrates a Pentecost mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 20, 2018.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis asperges holy water as he celebrates a Pentecost mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 20, 2018.

    Pope Francis has announced that he will make 14 new cardinals next month, among them his chief aide for helping homeless people.

    More >>

    Pope Francis has announced that he will make 14 new cardinals next month, among them his chief aide for helping homeless people.

    More >>
  • Heather Sullivan throws out first pitch at Flying Squirrels game

    Heather Sullivan throws out first pitch at Flying Squirrels game

    Sunday, May 20 2018 5:34 PM EDT2018-05-20 21:34:49 GMT
    Heather Sullivan threw out the first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game on Sunday. (Source: NBC12)Heather Sullivan threw out the first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game on Sunday. (Source: NBC12)
    Heather Sullivan threw out the first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game on Sunday. (Source: NBC12)Heather Sullivan threw out the first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game on Sunday. (Source: NBC12)

    The Flying Squirrels lost on Sunday to the Harrisburg Senators 8-2, but it was still a great day to be at the ballpark because it finally stopped raining. 

    More >>

    The Flying Squirrels lost on Sunday to the Harrisburg Senators 8-2, but it was still a great day to be at the ballpark because it finally stopped raining. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly