Bob Kirby Will Move From Petersburg To Gettysburg
(February/March 2010 Civil War News)

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. — James Robert “Bob” Kirby, superintendent of Petersburg National Battlefield since 2001, will take the helm at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site on March 1.

Superintendent Bob Kirby

He replaces John A. Latschar, who was reassigned to Frederick, Md., on Oct. 26. Acting superintendent Mel Poole will return to his position as superintendent of Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland. National Park Service Northeast Regional Director Dennis R. Reidenbach announced Kirby’s appointment.

Kirby previously served in National Park Service positions as acting superintendent at Petersburg, assistant superintendent at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and chief of interpretation at Lowell (Mass.) National Historical Park.

He also was an environmental protection specialist for the Defense Logistics Agency in Ogden, Utah; outdoor recreation director with the Department of the Army in West Germany; and held several positions at Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Kirby has a bachelor of arts degree in recreation and leisure studies and a master of science degree in recreation and park management from San Francisco State University.

Reidenbach described him as “a seasoned veteran who combines demonstrated leadership skills with experience in managing an important Civil War site.”

In speaking of his new position, Kirby told the 
Petersburg Progress-Index, “It’s a tremendous challenge. It’s an icon park. It’s a huge honor to be asked to be superintendent of a nationally-significant cultural resource.”

He spoke fondly of his time at Petersburg Battlefield and in the community. During his tenure Kirby worked on implementing various aspects of the park’s general management plan, including stabilizing the Appomattox Manor bluffs at City Point, a new visitor contact station at Five Forks and plans to purchase the Southside Station in Petersburg.

He credited the park’s staff for being able to handle these projects and improve educational programs for local residents and expand information about women and African Americans during the war.