March 25, 2020, Jason Reynolds, The Murfreesboro Post
The coalition of groups trying to add about 48 acres to Stones River National Battlefield received a boost recently when the state awarded it an extra $710,530.
The groups have been trying for more than a year to buy the GE factory/O’Reilly distribution center property on Northwest Broad Street at Thompson Lane.
The effort had already received $1,827,502 in a previous grant cycle, the Tennessee Historical Commission and Tennessee Wars Commission said in a press release. The new grant comes from the Tennessee Civil War Sites Preservation Fund.
The deal was scheduled to close in October 2019, then mid-March of this year, Nina L. Scall, director of the Wars Commission, said recently.
However, the appraisal came in higher than expected, at $4.7 million, Scall said, adding she did not recall how much the organization had expected the appraisal to be.
No date was given for a potential closing.
Buying the former General Electric site would be the largest land acquisition for the battlefield since it was designated as a national park in 1960, the Wars Commission said. The new area, contained in two tracts, includes property where troops under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans and Gen. Braxton Bragg faced off.
This new grant is part of more than $900,000 in matching grants the Preservation Fund handed out, the press release said. The new grant will help preserve about 111 acres of endangered Civil War battlefield sites in Hamilton County, Rutherford County, Hardin County and Henderson County.
Scall said, “The land acquired by these grant funds will be crucial for interpreting Tennessee’s role in the Civil War for generations to come.”