US accepts 285 Civil War acres in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Civil War battlefield in Virginia where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee saw his first major victory is now federally protected.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Thursday accepted the transfer of the 285 acres on the Gaines’ Mill Battlefield from the Civil War Trust. It is now part of the Richmond National Battlefield Park.

Gaines’ Mill is full of history — from Lee’s powerful assault against Union lines just outside the capital of the Confederacy to the use of observation balloons by both sides, a first in U.S. history.

The battle was fought on June 27, 1862. It was the second of the Seven Days’ Battles in which the Confederates sought to blunt federal forces that moved up the Virginia Peninsula with their sights set on Richmond.

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