Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Richmond park acquires Glendale land

1864 engraving depicting fight over McCall's artillery
For the first time in 140 years, the public one day will be able to walk on a 251-acre section of an 1862 Virginia battle that was an opportunity for Gen. Robert E. Lee to perhaps garner a war-changing victory.

Richmond National Battlefield Park announced Monday that it received the land from the Civil War Trust. The acquisition more than doubles the park's holdings at Glendale to 394 acres. Glendale is in Henrico County, approximately 11 miles southeast of downtown Richmond.

"Although the Battle of Glendale was one the largest in Virginia, little of it had been preserved until recently, so the result of the acquisition is a virtually 'brand new' Civil War battlefield," the park said in a press release.

The three-mile swath extends from the upper end of the Glendale to the lower end of the Malvern Hill battlefield.

Known in the South as Frayser's Farm, the June 30, 1862, Battle of Glendale was the penultimate of the series of battles known as the Seven Days.

Lee designed his pursuit to cut off a Union retreat from Richmond to a new position on the James River, hoping to interdict the Union columns and win by dividing and conquering. The Confederates' attempts were unsuccessful and some historians argue that the battle at Glendale was one of Lee's best opportunities during the Civil War to win a comprehensive victory, according to the park.

The park property includes the spot where Gen. George G. Meade (later commander of the entire Union army in Virginia) was wounded.The park also owns the land where all 16 of the Union cannon were captured during the battle and where all of the hand-to-hand fighting took place.

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