History | December 26, 2020 11:28 am

29 Acres of Virginia Civil War Battlefield Purchased for Preservation

The land is where part of the Battle of Williamsburg was fought

Battlefield map
A map of the battlefield.
American Battlefield Protection Program

Preserving historically significant land isn’t always an easy task. Sometimes it takes a team effort, with multiple groups and agencies working together to make sure that the important spaces of the past remain intact for visitors in the future. That’s what took place recently, when 29 of the acres on which the Battle of Williamsburg took place were preserved via a tandem effort.

The Associated Press covered the specifics of the deal, which involved the land where a particularly violent part of the battle, known as the “Bloody Ravine,” took place. All told, the American Battlefield Trust purchased 29 acres. They had raised money for it, in addition to money received from the National Parks Service and from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The total value of the land, which had been zoned for commercial use, was $2,743,000.

In their story on the purchase, The Virginia Gazette offered more information. The land was sold by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Battlefield Trust president David Duncan spoke highly of the two organizations’ ability to come together on this matter. Duncan referred to them as “a partner that shares our vision for creating places where American history is alive and tangible.”

As Wilford Kale writes in the Gazette, “Most traces of the battle have been erased with the construction of subdivisions and shopping centers in today’s Williamsburg, James City and York counties.” With these 29 acres preserved, other elements of the battle may come to light — including the role Black soldiers played and the actions of 7 Medal of Honor recipients. It’s an important location in American history, and now it’s set to endure.

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