On the 150th anniversary of the first day of fighting in the Battle of the Wilderness, the Civil War Trust on Monday officially handed over 49 acres of that battlefield to the National Park Service. The property was purchased three years ago by the Trust for more than $1 million with funds raised by members of the country’s largest non-profit battlefield preservation organization.
The property was purchased with the intent of transferring it to the National Park Service in keeping with a commitment by the federal government to allow expansion of battlefield parks during the sesquicentennial anniversary through the transfer of land from conservation groups.
The parcel transferred Monday included the historic Saunders Field, an open clearing at the time of the battle that was the scene of fierce fighting on May 5 and 6.
The Park Service’s sesquicentennial commemoration of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania will continue through May 18.