Wednesday, September 05, 2012

News: Eleven Civil War Sites Awarded Funds for Preservation and Research

National Park Service Awards Battlefield Grants, National Coalition for History, September 4, 2012
More than $1.3 million in National Park Service grants have recently been awarded to help preserve, protect, document, and interpret America’s significant battlefield lands. The funding from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program will support 27 projects at more than 75 battlefields nationwide.
This year’s grants provide funding for projects at endangered battlefields from the Pequot War, King William’s War, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World War II and various Indian Wars. Awards were given to projects in 17 states or territories entailing archeology, mapping, cultural resource survey work, documentation, planning, education and interpretation.
The Park Service also announced the award of an additional $1.3 million in grants to help with land acquisition at four Civil War battlefields. Grant projects include fee simple purchases at Averasborough, North Carolina ($103,380); Bentonville, North Carolina ($60, 380); Cool Springs, Virginia ($800,000) and Ware Bottom Church, Virginia ($367,263). The grant funds were made available under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-74), which appropriated $8,985,600 for the Civil War battlefield land acquisition grants program.
Federal, state, local and Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions are eligible for the battlefield grants, which are awarded annually. Since 1996, the ABPP has awarded more than $13 million to help preserve significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil. More information is available online at
Here is the list of Civil War battlefields receiving funds:
Friends of Jenkins Ferry Battlefield (Arkansas) $40,000  The Battle of Jenkins Ferry, fought April 30, 1864, was a vicious rearguard action at the end of the Union army’s failed Camden Expedition. Federal forces succeeded in repelling repeated Confederate attacks and escaping across the Saline River to Little Rock, Ark. with their supplies intact. With only a small fraction of the Jenkins Ferry battlefield currently preserved, the Friends of Jenkins Ferry hope to identify specific preservation priorities for the landscape. Prioritizing specific portions of the landscape will also provide a blueprint for future acquisitions.
Gulf Archaeology Research Institute (Florida) $51,750   Until its reduction in 1864, the Confederate port of Bayport, Florida was a significant harbor for blockade runners in the Gulf of Mexico. Its destruction by the Federal navy shut down yet another point of entry to the Confederacy and threw the Florida militia into a panic. The Gulf Archaeological Research Institute intends to develop a precise history of the battle through archeological and historical research. This research will also be used to create a day-to-day battle map leading up to the battle, as well as showing its immediate consequences.
Mableton Improvement Coalition, Inc. (Georgia) $75,000  One of the most significant waterways along Major General William T. Sherman's approach towards the city of Atlanta, the Chattahoochee River was heavily fortified by Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. The Mableton Improvement Coalition intends to develop a preservation plan for those Civil War earthworks and elements of the Chattahoochee Line that still remain. The plan will be used to help determine the best practices and uses for the battlefield land.
Civil War Trust (Maryland) $55,000   As the largest private battlefield preservation organization in the country, the Civil War Trust has worked tirelessly to preserve American Civil War battlefields across the county. The Trust now intends to find and develop potential funding sources for future battlefield acquisition and preservation. Specifically this effort will look at funding sources for preserving Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields, protecting them from inappropriate development and preserving them for future generations.
Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, Inc. (Missouri) $28,500  Missouri was a border state during the Civil War and both sides recruited heavily from the population of the state. One such recruitment mission, led by Confederate Colonel Joseph Porter, was scattered at the battles of Kirksville and Moore's Mill. It is hoped that an archeological survey can find and delineate the Moore's Mill battlefield. The results can then be used for a National Register nomination and preservation plan.
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (North Carolina) $50,000  Though the Federal blockade of North Carolina began in July of 1861, the Port of Wilmington, protected by Fort Fisher, would remain a safe harbor for Confederate blockade runners until the fort’s fall in January of 1865. This project will attempt to establish a definitive archeological inventory of submerged resources in the Cape Fear Region. It is hoped that the discovered and rediscovered resources can be used to help develop better means of site preservation and interpretation.
Mosby Heritage Area Association (Virginia) $41,625   The battles of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville are a series of running cavalry engagements fought in June of 1863. These tenacious delaying actions, carried out by the Confederate cavalry, were crucial to screening the Confederate movement north at the opening of the Gettysburg Campaign. This project hopes to build public awareness of the battlefields through education, thereby promoting their preservation. It will also look at local preservation concerns related to the battlefields.
Prince William County (Virginia) $61,320  Cockpit Point was one of a series of Confederate batteries along the Potomac River that was established to blockade Washington, D.C. by shutting down shipping on the river. Established in October 1861, the Cockpit Point Battery would be manned until March of 1862. Prince William County intends to perform a military terrain analysis of the landscape and document the battlefield ' s viewsheds. This research and mapping will help in proposing an amendment to the county's comprehensive plan.
Prince William County (Virginia) $77,845   Northern Virginia has numerous overlapping battlefield sites. Two such sites are the 1862 Battle of Kettle Run and the 1863 Battle of Bristoe Station. Prince William County hopes to identify preservation strategies for both of these sites while also looking at any management issues. This preservation plan will help the county evaluate future preservation opportunities at the site.
Shenandoah Valley Network (Virginia) $20,000   The 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign was a series of battles that would drive Confederate forces from the Valley. With the loss of the Valley, the breadbasket of the Confederacy was lost, hampering Confederate attempts to continue the war. The Shenandoah Valley Network looks to implement three goals in the county's Rural Areas Plan for the preservation of the Valley's Civil War battlefields. These include a Purchase of Development Rights program, support for agricultural programs, and promotion of planning efforts to channel new development.
Virginia Department of Historic Resources (Virginia) $20,000 The Virginia DHR, a longtime proponent of battlefield landscape preservation in the state of Virginia, looks to hold a two-day instructional workshop especially for its battlefield landscape landowners. This workshop will focus on landscape analysis and conservation easement policy. The workshop will also look at consensus building and how best to promote battlefield preservation during the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War.

Text Sources: National Coalition for History  and National Park Service.
Image Source: Blue Gray Magazine

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