Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 19, 1960):
This battle, on April 1, 1865, has been called the Waterloo of the Confederacy. Union troops under Philip Sheridan's command defeated the Confederates under General George Pickett, who had been sent to protect the Southside Railroad, Robert E. Lee's last supply line. The Union victory broke the siege of Petersburg, and led to the fall of Richmond. Lee consequently retreated westward from the Richmond-Petersburg defenses, and eight days later surrendered at Appomatox.
A 126 acre parcel remains in private hands within the legislated boundary of the Five Forks Battlefield. With the rapid economic and corresponding residential and urban sprawl associated with this growth, we fear this remaining parcel may be sold to private developers. The current owner is a willing seller to the park but his asking price is well above fair market value.
In May 2008, ground was broken for a new National Park Service visitor center at Five Forks. The new VC should be completed in 2009.
Recommendation/Change since last report:
Only full fee acquisiton or purchase of an easement will preserve this parcel from development. The asking price for the property is approximately $5,000/acre, or $630,000. This cost identified as the sales price by the seller (Parham) to the Civil War Preservation Trust in 2003. The estimated fair market value of the property is closer to $3,800/acre or $478,800. We have no cost estimates for the acquisition of an easement.