Petersburg National Battlefield Gets OK To Expand

The site of the 6th Corps Breakthrough during the siege of Petersburg, would be added to Petersburg National Battlefield under legislation sent to the president to sign/NPS

Congress has passed legislation to give the National Park Service permission to expand Petersburg National Battlefield in Virginia by more than 7,200 acres. The park currently consists of approximately 2,700 acres; however, with the passing of this legislation, it now has the opportunity to expand by another 7,238 acres.

The Siege of Petersburg was the longest military event in the entire Civil War, lasting more than nine months. Eighteen separate battlefields are commemorated by Petersburg National Battlefield. The specific battlefields, which can benefit from the authority to protect additional lands, include Five Forks, Peebles Farm, Ream’s Station, the Crater, and the site of the Union Army’s breakthrough on April 2, 1865.

The Petersburg boundary expansion legislation was included in the National Defense Authorization Act, for Fiscal Year 2017, after first being introduced in separate bills by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, and Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, and Randy Forbes, R-Virginia.

“We are excited about this new opportunity to join with the battlefield community to save our national treasures. Nowhere else in our nation’s history have so many Americans fought and died for ideas they so strongly believed in – some even against their own families," said battlefield Superintendent Lewis Rodgers. "We are looking forward to open up new places for our children to learn about their heritage and enjoy ‘America’s best idea,’ its national parks.”