Saving History Saturday: Battlefield Preservation Grants Awarded

The National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) recently awarded $2,347,080 in Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants to four projects, including three Civil War preservation projects.

The two of the projects are in Virginia and the third is in Mississippi, and total $1,260,774

In Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History received $692,450 for the acquisition of 353.6 acres of the Champion Hill Battlefield. On May 16, 1863, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant surprised Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton’s confederate forces off guard and began driving them back towards Vicksburg.

In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation received two grants. The first is for the preservation of 136.67 acres at Todd’s Tavern, a part of the Spotsylvania Court House campaign, with a grant of $496,756. On May 7, 1864, Generals Grant, and George M. Meade found Union Cavalry camped here and Meade angrily rousted them and sent them south along the Brock Road to clear the way to Spotsylvania Court House. At various times during the campaign the Union II Corps, as well as Thomas Rosser’s confederate cavalry brigade camped at the site.

The second Virginia project is for $71,567 to help with the preservation of 1.1 acres of the Sailor’s Creek Battlefield. On April 6, 1864, Union cavalry engaged the Army of Northern Virginia at Marshall’s Crossroads. As the confederates fell back, they were widely scattered, which led to Robert E. Lee remarking, “My God! Has the army dissolved?.” This property will eventually become part of the Sailor’s’ Creek Battlefield State Park.

The American Battlefield Trust is a partner in all three projects. The fourth project is of the Revolutionary War’s Metuchen Meeting House Battlefield in New Jersey. You can find out more about each of these projects, and the American Battlefield Protection Program at the National Park Service’s website.

About Terry Rensel

Terry is currently the Executive Director of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT), located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has Bachelor of Arts degrees in History/Political Science and Broadcast Communications from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Bradford, PA. and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, AK. Prior to joining CVBT he spent 12 years living and working in Alaska.
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