By STEVEN T. DENNIS
SHARPSBURG - The federal government should buy land in some of the country's most famous Civil War battlefields, including Antietam, to protect them from development, Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., said Monday.
Torricelli asked Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to include the battlefields on a priority acquisition list in a letter signed by Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., and two other senators.
A Senate spending bill includes about $700 million for land purchases.
Antietam Superintendent John W. Howard said the battlefield is interested in buying about 200 acres within the battlefield limits.
Howard said the purchases basically would involve filling in the gaps and would not include a major expansion of the battlefield.