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Bill to preserve Newtonia battlefields heads to White House

Thursday, May 1, 2008

NEWTONIA, Mo. (AP) -- A bill to find ways to preserve the Newtonia Civil War battlefields is headed to President Bush after securing final congressional approval Wednesday.

The bill was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt. It authorizes the National Park Service to conduct a study to determine if the Newtonia sites could be made a separate unit of the park service or brought under the management of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield near Springfield.

The Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association has led efforts to preserve the battlefields for more than a decade.

Those efforts included purchasing 11 acres and the two-story Ritchey Mansion, which served as a headquarters and a field hospital during battles in 1862 and 1864.

Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

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