Forbes moves to expand battlefield boundaries
By F.m. Wiggins (Staff Writer)
Published: November 6, 2009
PETERSBURG - Congressman J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., testified before Congress in support of the Petersburg National Battlefield Boundry Modification Act. The bill introduced by Forbes earlier this year would modify the boundaries of the current battlefield to include an additional 7,200 acres of land adjacent to its present boundaries, mainly provided through donations.
"This legislation would provide for the expansion of Petersburg National Battlefield in Petersburg, Virginia which will serve to increase heritage tourism in the Commonwealth of Virginia and enable Americans to learn more about the years of the Civil War," Forbes testified before Congress.
Petersburg National Battlefield currently contains 2,659 acres across a wide swath of land from City Point in Hopewell to Five Forks Battlefield in Dinwiddie County.
Forbes said the battlefield is an integral part of the local community, an important tourist destination for the state and a touchstone of America's past.
Petersburg National Battlefield Park Superintendent Bob Kirby said preserving the additional land is critical before the sprawling development "we know is coming to the area."
Kirby added that while the bill is important and extends the boundaries of the park, there's one thing it doesn't provide - funding.
"We still have a long way to go," Kirby said. "This is just the House side of the legislation, there has to be a Senate bill and then it all has to go to conference."
Kirby said that he was actually in Washington to attend the hearing and was very proud of Forbes' actions.
"This is going to contribute vitally to heritage tourism in Virginia," Kirby said. "The Petersburg Campaign lasted nine and a half months and 106 major actions during that campaign took place in the park and on these 7,200 acres. Nearly one-quarter of the war was fought here."
He said that in the nearly 176 miles of land, the 106 actions were either "class A or class B" actions, meaning that the battles had a significant determination on the outcome of the war or the campaign.
"The premise is that we would have some sort of interpretive devices on these parcels," Kirby said. "But that could take years or decades."
- F.M. Wiggins may be reached at 732-3456, ext. 3254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online at: http://progress-index.com/news/forbe...eld_boundaries