On March 24, 2015 Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer, and Anheuser-Busch Senior General Manager Rick Shippey at Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA to announce the preservation of 65 acres of Williamsburg battlefield.
Located northeast of Interstate I-64, the land was donated by the Anheuser-Busch Foundation to the Civil War Trust and represents the largest portion of the battlefield preserved to date. It is also the only part of the afternoon phase of the day-long battle currently saved from development. “It is by far the biggest save, yet, at Williamsburg,” said James Lighthizer.
On the night of May 4, 1862, Union cavalry chased and caught the rear guard of the Confederate army at this property, setting the stage for the next day's battle and the first major engage-ment of the Peninsula Campaign. During the May 5 battle, the Con-federate 6th SC Infantry held this pro-perty and nearby Redoubt 9 while skirmishing with advancing Union soldiers. As the battle intensified in the afternoon, the 6th SC crossed this ground with the 5th NC Infantry in an ill-fated charge aimed at dislodging Union Brig. General Winfield Scott Hancock from Redoubt 11 a few hundred yards north.
future benefits & plans
Gov. McAuliffe also recognized the additional benefits to Virginia’s heritage tourism and environment inherent with the battlefield’s preservation. On average, heritage tourists spend more money and stay longer than other tourists according to statistics from the Virginia Tourism Corporation. While the Civil War Trust would like to see this property anchor a future Williams-burg Battlefield Park, the Williamsburg Land Conservancy will steward the land in the meantime.