For Immediate Release: 03/10/03
Civil War Preservation Trust Praises Tidewater's Commitment to Preservation
Partnership will protect nearly a thousand acres of battlefield land in Dinwiddie County
(Dinwiddie County, Va.) - In a letter to the Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) commended Tidewater Quarries, Inc. for its commitment to battlefield preservation. Tidewater has put together a comprehensive preservation and mitigation package that would help protect nearly 1,000 acres of battlefield land in the county.
"Some company executives give lip service to preserving America's heritage, but few are willing step up to the plate as Tidewater has done," writes CWPT President James Lighthizer in his March 4 letter. "Tidewater's mitigation package goes far beyond what most corporations would be willing to consider."
Tidewater Quarries (a subsidiary of Florida Rock Industries, Inc.) has proposed a quarry on property containing Civil War earthworks related to the siege of Petersburg, Va. In exchange for permission from the county to conduct quarry operations, Tidewater is offering a comprehensive preservation and mitigation package that will protect other Civil War battlefields and earthworks in Dinwiddie County.
CWPT consulted with noted historians familiar with the siege of Petersburg to determine whether the quarry proposal would impact land where critical engagements occurred. "After consulting with well known experts, we were satisfied that the Ragsdale property [the site of the proposed quarry] was not the site of significant fighting," stated Lighthizer.
CWPT recently acquired the Clements Farm, the property immediately adjacent to the Ragsdale tract. Tidewater Quarries has agreed to preserve a portion of the earthworks on the Ragsdale property, which includes an artillery emplacement that is connected to earthworks on the Clements Farm. Tidewater Quarries will also maintain buffers and install berms between its quarry operations and the Clements Farm. Tidewater Quarries will also assist with the interpretation of the Clements Farm by policing the property on a periodic basis.
According to Lighthizer, Tidewater Quarries' commitment to assist CWPT's battlefield preservation efforts extends far beyond the Clements Farm and Ragsdale property. "Tidewater has agreed to provide matching funds to protect nearly 1,000 acres of hallowed ground in Dinwiddie County during the coming years. These newly protected battlefields will benefit the local economy by attracting thousands of additional tourists to the region."
Tidewater is seeking a CUP from the Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors to conduct quarry operations on the Ragsdale Tract and part of the Clement Tract. In its letter, CWPT indicates that it does not oppose Tidewater's CUP. CWPT also urges the board to consider Tidewater's extensive preservation and mitigation efforts during the board's deliberations.
With 43,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism.