Petersburg National Battlefield would become largest in nation under bill

Photo: Ernest Mettendorf

(WJLA) - Petersburg National Battlefield would become the nation's largest historic Civil War battlefield in the nation under legislation introduced Wednesday.

Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are proposing that the National Park Service acquire more than 7,000 acres of land to add to the central Virginia landmark.

The land that Warner and Kaine want to add to the battlefield was the site of 18 major battles during the American Civil War, and they that the 7,238 acres are at risk of being developed instead of being preserved.

"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," Sen. Kaine said in a statement. Warner added that the battlefield brings Petersburg $11 million per year in tourist dollars.

The battlefield sits about 28 miles south of Richmond.