Very few people associate this place [Williamsburg] with the Civil War, but today I believe that will change.
— Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia

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. 


Photo Courtesy of WYDaily

Photo Courtesy of WYDaily

location

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.
 

Map Courtesy of the Civil War Trust, www.civilwar.org

historical significance

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.

Photo Courtesy of WYDaily

Photo Courtesy of WYDaily

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.