Saving History Saturday: Battlefield Acquisition Grants Awarded to Three Civil War Battlefields

Credit: National Park Service

The National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) recently awarded $1,002,112.35 in Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants to four projects, including three Civil War preservation projects.

The two of the projects are in Louisiana and the third is in Arkansas, and total $320,599.85

In Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism received $230,000 for the acquisition of 27 acres of the Prairie Grove Battlefield, adding to the already preserved 120 acres there. On December 7, 1862, Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas Hindman fought US Brig. Gen. James Blunt’s forces in a day-long battle. Blunt’s men won the battle, forcing Hindman’s retreat and establishing Federal control of northwest Arkansas.

In Louisiana, the Louisiana State Parks and Recreation Commission received two grants. The first is for the preservation of 2.57 acres at Port Hudson, part of the final engagement by Federal forces to recapture the lower Mississippi stronghold. Beginning on May 27, 1863, this action included the first Black regiment, known as the “Corps d’Afrique,” to include Black officers during the war. The 48-day siege was the longest sustained military action of the war up to that point.

The second Louisiana project is for $47,303 to help with the preservation of 19.42 acres at the Battle of Mansfield. Also known as the Battle of Sabine Crossroads, it was a turning point in the Red River Campaign. On April 8, 1864, confederates under Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor concentrated his forces around Sabine Crossroads, attacked the Union army under Gen. Nathanial Banks. The battle was a Confederate rout, leading to the Union forces retreating all the way to New Orleans.

The American Battlefield Trust is a partner in the two Mississippi projects. The fourth project is of the Revolutionary War’s Hobkirk Hill Battlefield in South Carolina. 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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2 Responses to Saving History Saturday: Battlefield Acquisition Grants Awarded to Three Civil War Battlefields

  1. Charles Downs says:

    I just visited Port Hudson for the first time a little over a week ago and was surprised that only the north end of the battlefield is preserved. There’s a lot more land that needs to be saved there and opened to interpretation. The biggest surprise is that the Mississippi River is now 2 miles away.

    • Lyle Smith says:

      At Port Hudson people have homes across the southern part of the battlefield. Detectorists have taken a lot of stuff from this privately owned areas. Georgia Pacific also has a huge paper mill at the southern extremity of the battlefield. What has been preserved is excellent though and where a lot of the most significant fighting happened like the first time US black troops went into battle ever.

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