For Immediate Release: 04/26/05
Historic Property at Malvern Hill Transferred to National Park Service
Malvern Hill considered one of the best preserved battlefields in Virginia
(Henrico County, Va.) - The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) and the Richmond National Battlefield Park are pleased to announce the preservation of 253 acres of battlefield ground at Malvern Hill in lower Henrico County, approximately 15 miles southeast of Richmond. The National Park Service (NPS) recently closed on the property, making the transfer from CWPT official and adding the history-laden acreage to the park's holdings, which now exceed 1,000 acres at Malvern Hill Battlefield.
When the private owner of the land agreed to sell the historic property in 2000, CWPT stepped in at short notice to secure the property, forging an alliance with the County of Henrico, local developer Andy Shield, the Virginia Land Conservation Fund, and Dr. Robert Bluford of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.
According to CWPT President James Lighthizer, "Without the cooperation of Henrico County, Andy Shield and Dr. Robert Bluford, CWPT could not have saved this property. Now, we are partnering with NPS to ensure that this hallowed ground is preserved for all time."
CWPT hoped that ultimately the NPS could take over the protection and management of the site in the future. NPS Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod welcomed the new acreage: "The protection of this important ground in perpetuity cements Malvern Hill Battlefield's reputation as the best preserved battlefield in this part of Virginia and will significantly enhance the experience of every visitor to the site. We thank Henrico County, Andy Shield, and CWPT for their leadership and cooperation in this effort that benefits the American people."
On July 1, 1862, the last of famous Seven Days battles occurred at Malvern Hill. The Confederate army, riding a weeklong wave of success, launched ill-advised attacks against the formidable position held by the Union army. By nightfall nearly 8,000 men lay dead and wounded. The 253 acres now permanently protected includes the West House, a battlefield landmark rebuilt since the war using some of the fabric and foundation of the wartime structure. A roaring line of Union cannon that helped to win the battle stood in the yard of the West House.
The ground is largely open today, as it was 143 years ago, and visitors to the site can easily envision the dozens of cannon and thousands of blue-clad soldiers massed there. An eye-catching image of the Malvern Hill Battlefield appeared in National Geographic this month as part of an article on battlefield preservation in America.
Richmond National Battlefield Park preserves close to 1,700 acres of battlefield land outside Richmond. For more information on the park, please call 804-226-1981, or visit www.nps.gov/rich.
With 70,000 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. CWPT's website is www.civilwar.org.