Saving History Saturday: Tennessee and Virginia Battlefields Receive Major Preservation Grants

Over the past few weeks, seven battlefields in Tennessee and Virginia received major preservation grants through national, state, and private funding programs. Between the two states, nearly $3 million is being dedicated to preserve and protect threatened land. This is a major preservation victory.

The Salem Cemetery Battlefield historical marker. Courtesy of Wikimedia.

In Tennessee, five Civil War battlefields are receiving nearly $2.5 million in funding by the Tennessee Historical Commission and Tennessee Wars Commission. Stones River National Battlefield will receive $1.8 million to acquire an additional 42 acres. $367,000 is being designated for the Salem Cemetery Battlefield (near Jackson), which will save 120 acres. At Wauhatchie (near Chattanooga), $232,000 will preserve a 9-acre tract, including the historic Brown’s Tavern. Franklin and Shiloh will also receive funding. In total, these grants will save over 170 acres of hallowed ground.

Virginia’s Fisher’s Hill Battlefield and Opequon will receive a total of $748,298 for land acquisition. The funding is being provided by the American Battlefield Protection Program, which has partnered with local preservation groups, communities, and the American Battlefield Trust.

Though the funding and acreage amounts may seem overwhelming, it is important to remember that each acre tells an important story – a story that could not be told without having that land saved. Between both Tennessee and Virginia, hundreds of acres are being preserved from both the Western and Eastern Theaters of the war, telling a more complete history of the war. Your support – not just financially – is a major reason why so many of these battlefields are being saved.

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