The Breakthrough, Petersburg Battlefield, Petersburg, Va.

The Breakthrough, Petersburg Battlefield, Petersburg, Va.

Help Save 820 Acres at Five Virginia Battlefields

The Opportunity  

At Mine Run, we can save 702 acres at a new section of the battlefield; at Reams Station (where we are close to substantially completing that battlefield), we can save another crucial 96 acres; at Boydton Plank Road, we can save the very first 12 acres ever saved at that battlefield; same thing at Dinwiddie Court House, where we can preserve the first 8 acres ever saved there; and finally, although it is small, we can save another crucial 2-acre tract at The Breakthrough at Petersburg, where we have already saved 407 acres. 

Add it all up... that’s 820 acres of threatened Virginia hallowed ground! 

With the various matching-grant sources, generous landowner donations (read more below), we can save this land at $3.36 million in transaction value for $111,856!  

That’s a $30-to-$1 match of your donation dollar, certainly the largest match ratio we have seen so far this year, and one of the top-ten best matches we’ve ever had. 

As you read through the history of the five battlefields, please consider making a gift to ensure these 820 acres of hallowed ground in Virginia are preserved forever. 

The History

Mine Run – 702 Acres 

By the early winter of 1863, Mine Run was the war’s front for the men of Meade’s Army of the Potomac and Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. 

Less than two years ago, a company offered the owners of this property a whopping $6.8 million to put a huge solar farm here. Just imagine hillsides and farmlands completely blanketed in large solar panels. The company didn’t care that this tract bore witness to General George G. Meade’s last and failed attempts to destroy General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. 

Fortunately, the owners of the land did know, and they did care. They turned down the solar farm offer and decided to preserve the land instead.

Reams Station – 96 Acres 

Eight Federal Army units from five states fought on this tract during the battle, a major setback for the Union. Impressive earthworks from the battle remain on this land which is adjacent to hundreds of acres that fellow Trust members have already preserved. 

But there have been dangerous development pressures in recent years — including yet another utility-scale solar farm — which have threatened the integrity of this battlefield. Thank goodness another responsible landowner wants to see this key parcel preserved, and has agreed to sell it to us for preservation. 

Boydton Plank Road – 12 Acres – First Ever! 

Last year, a “FOR SALE” sign popped up on this property. Upon investigation, we determined that a new commercial enterprise, as well as up to 10 houses, could be constructed on the property it had! We couldn’t let that happen, because this land saw significant battle action on October 27 and 28, 1864...

Early in the afternoon of the 27th, the Union vanguard arrived at the intersection of the White Oak and Boydton Plank Roads and established a curved line extending across the open field on both sides of the road. Confederate troops mounted an attack from the north to displace the Federals from the vital Boydton Plank Road. 

The Trust has saved many important acres at nearby White Oak Road, however, this will be the first time any land has ever been saved at the Boydton Plank Road battlefield. This is our one chance to secure it and prevent it from being destroyed by new construction. 

Dinwiddie Courthouse – 8 Acres – First Ever!  

In the closing hours of the Civil War, this obscure site became the focus of intense fighting between 45,000 Federals under General Phil Sheridan and 20,000 Confederates under George Pickett. While technically a Confederate victory, it set the stage for further fighting, and more than 1,100 of those combatants became casualties. 

Eight acres may not seem like much compared to the other tracts, but we are able to purchase this land at a very reasonable price (before the developers start sniffing around), and the preservation of every battlefield has to start somewhere. This is an excellent “first” transaction here.  

The Breakthrough – 2 Acres  

Small in size, enormous in importance, this tract actually saw three battles — first in the fall of 1864 in the Battle of Peebles’ Farm and twice in March and April of 1865 at the Battles of Jones Farm, and again during The Breakthrough, which led directly to the fall of Petersburg and Richmond.

These two acres are contiguous to preserved Trust lands which are themselves adjacent to other lands managed by the National Park Service and Pamplin Historical Park. The opportunity before us today is not only to preserve them, but also to begin the process of removing modern structures, including a 1972 dwelling and several outbuildings, restoring the land to the way it looked when the soldiers were there.

A veteran battlefield-tromper visited The Breakthrough for the first time ever, saying, “It took my breath away” to see the preservation and restoration work we have done on that hallowed ground. Today, we can save this land and leave even more visitors, encountering this amazing history, breathless.

With an incredible $30-to-$1 match, your impact multiplied!  

If we can beat the developers and close these five transactions on Virginia battlefields totaling 820 acres, it will be a clear demonstration of our shared commitment, our will to keep fighting no matter what, and our determination to win against all odds. 

Keep our march going forward with your most generous gift now to seize the opportunity of a $30-to-$1 match! 

Donate now

“I’m happy to be considered a relic, a thorn in the side of any developer who wants to destroy a battlefield, and I’m guessing that you are standing right there beside me.”
David N. Duncan, President


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