Agreement pending on state purchase of Natural Bridge battlefield (FL)

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The Natural Bridge Battlefield may be endangered, but the cavalry is on the way.

State officials have tentatively agreed to buy 55 privately owned acres of the battlefield — but they must exercise their option by August. If they don't, the Civil War Preservation Trust is interested.

In March, the trust listed Natural Bridge as one of this year's 10 most endangered Civil War battlefields. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit purchases endangered battlefields with private donations and federal grants.

"(Natural Bridge) is such a unique site," said Mary Koik, the trust's deputy director of communications. "If we could get involved, we certainly would."

The Natural Bridge Battlefield is near Woodville. In March 1865, Confederate soldiers, volunteers and cadets from the forerunner of Florida State University repulsed three attacks by Union soldiers, leaving Tallahassee as one of only two Confederate capitals never captured.

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