Webb joins Battlefield Foundation at ceremony marking acquisition Civil War battle land purchase
A champion of battlefield-protection in the U.S Congress, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., today joined representatives of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation and Civil War Preservation Trust and other preservation leaders to celebrate the acquisition of property where the Third Battle of Winchester was fought.
On Aug. 7, 2009, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation officially acquired the 209-acre Huntsberry property, part of the Middle Field of the Third Battle of Winchester, fought on September 19, 1864. The event coincides with the 145th anniversary of the particularly bloody battle in which the Union Army’s 19th Corps suffered devastating losses, with 40 percent of its men and every one of its commanders either killed or wounded.
Speaking at today’s event, Webb praised the cooperative nature of the project, citing the importance of Civil War battlefield preservation to Virginians and all Americans.
“As someone with ancestors who fought on both sides of the American Civil War, the preservation of these battlefields has personal significance,” said Webb. “The need to protect our nation’s battlefields is far too great for any one well-intentioned federal program. That’s why the partnerships with groups like the Civil War Preservation Trust and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation are so critical. They are in this fight for all the right reasons. This partnership truly serves as a model of bringing all stakeholders to the table to tackle pressing national issues.”
The $3.35 million purchase price was funded through a partnership between the Battlefields Foundation and the Civil War Preservation Trust, together with government grants from the federal, state and local levels. The federal Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, funded by legislation introduced by Senator Jim Webb in Congress, issued a $1.23 million matching grant toward the $3.35 million effort.
Webb continued, “No state is richer in significant historic Civil War-era landmarks than Virginia, and I am proud of the work that the Commonwealth has undertaken to safeguard its heritage. Our time to protect these sites is limited. I will continue my efforts in Congress to ensure such historic landscapes are preserved for future generations.”
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. In 2007, he introduced the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act in the Senate to reauthorize the program for another 5 years. The measure was included in the Omnibus Public Lands Bill of 2008, and signed into law by President Obama in March 2009.