Virginia awards grants to protect 15 Civil War battlefields

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Virginia stepped forward yesterday to help save portions of 15 Civil War battlefields from encroaching development.

The commonwealth will provide up to $5.2 million to front-line private groups defending Civil War battlefields--including Chancellorsville and Brandy Station. Preservationists must come up with $10.4 million to get the 21 matching grants awarded by the state Department of Historic Resources.

The resulting total, $15.57 million, would be one of the largest sums earmarked for Virginia battlefield preservation in decades.

"I am pleased that we are able to join with these private organizations to save important open spaces and cultural landscapes while we still have the opportunity," Gov. Tim Kaine said of the initiative yesterday.

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