|WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and U.S. Representative Billy Long have introduced legislation to add elements of Newtonia Battlefield to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, a unit of the National Park Service (NPS).
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is an original cosponsor of the bill. The bill would expand the boundaries of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield to include acres that are relevant to the Newtonia Battlefield site.
Two significant Civil War engagements were fought on the Newtonia Battlefield. A battle in1862 was among the very few Civil War engagements that included Native Americans fighting on both sidesThe battle at Newtonia in 1864 was the last major engagement of the Civil War in Missouri.
“Newtonia Battlefield would be a valuable addition to the National Park System,” said Blunt. “As the site of two Civil War battles, including the last major engagement fought in Missouri, the history of Newtonia is important to gaining a better understanding of the deadliest war in U.S. history and how it impacted our state and nation. Making Newtonia Battlefield a part of the National Park Service has long been a priority for the local community, which has spent years – and significant resources – to preserve the site. As a former history teacher, I’m proud to support efforts to help ensure future generations can visit the battlefield and learn more about its unique history.”
The bill is backed by the American Battlefield Trust and Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association.
“To understand the full scope of American history, we must consider out past collectively, rather than as disconnected events. Similarly, we often find that landscapes critical to imparting the narratives central to our current parks extend well beyond their borders. In such instances, it’s important that strong advocates for parks and for history pursue the legislative process to expand a park’s authorized boundary. Doing so incurs no immediate cost to the federal government, but paves the way for opportunities that arise,” said David Duncan, President, American Battlefield Trust.
“The American Battlefield Trust, its board and its members, are deeply appreciative for the leadership shown by Senators Blunt and Hawley, together with Representative Long, for taking that critical broader view of Missouri’s Civil War history and calling for the expansion of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield to include land associated with the two battles fought at nearby Newtonia, ensuring that a more complete and nuanced understanding of the state’s role in that conflict can be shared with residents and visitors alike,” Duncan said.
Click here to read the bill.