For Immediate Release: 12/03/01
Civil War Preservation Trust Rescues Historic White Oak Road Property
The struggle at White Oak Road sounded the death knell for the Confederate Army in Virginia.
(Dinwiddie County, Va.) - At a news conference today, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) announced the rescue of a key portion of White Oak Road Battlefield. The 29.7-acre property, known locally as the "Roberts tract," was the scene of heavy fighting on the final day of March 1865.
"White Oak Road battlefield is a living monument to the courage, valor and sacrifice of our fore bearers," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Few landscapes remain that so closely resemble conditions as they existed during the war."
Joining Lighthizer at the news conference was Petersburg National Battlefield Superintendent Robert Kirby and historian and author Chris Calkins. The news conference was held at the entrance to the White Oak Road Battlefield Trail, located at the intersection of Claiborne and White Oak Roads.
The battle of White Oak Road sounded the death knell for Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The clash marked the beginning of a series of battles that led directly to the fall of Richmond and the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox just nine days later.
Now, more than seven generations later, CWPT has joined with the Dinwiddie County Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service to save a vital part of White Oak Road Battlefield. This property is located east of a 30-acre parcel CWPT purchased in 1989, bringing the total amount of land protected on the battlefield to nearly 60 acres.
"White Oak Road is an important facet of the events leading up to the end of the war," noted Calkins. "It is good to see that this property, containing the remaining Confederate earthworks along White Oak Road, is now saved in perpetuity."
CWPT has a long history of preserving hallowed ground in Dinwiddie County. In addition to White Oak Road, CWPT was also involved in saving 50 acres at nearby Hatcher's Run Battlefield, the scene of bitter fighting in February 1865.
CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its goals are to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites and promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.