Latest report on the state of Civil War battlefields, "History Under Siege"





At a news conference this morning, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) unveiled its annual report on the status of the nations historic battlegrounds. The report, entitled History Under Siege, identifies the most threatened Civil War sites in the United States.

According to CWPT President James Lighthizer, the report outlines steps that can be taken to rescue threatened Civil War sites.

Joining Lighthizer at the news conference announcing the report was country music star Trace Adkins, whose great-great-grandfather was wounded and taken prisoner at Vicksburg, Miss. Ive been a Civil War enthusiast all my life, Adkins said. When I visited the battlefield in Vicksburg and stood in a trench where my great-great-granddaddy stood, tears came to my eyes. As a father of five, I believe it is critical that I protect a legacy that belongs not just to my family but to our entire nation.

The History Under Siege report is composed of two parts. The first presents the 10 most endangered battlefields in the nation. The second briefly describes 15 additional at risk sites. The following battlefields were selected for the top 10 based on geographic location, military significance, and the immediacy of current threats:

Antietam, Md., Sept. 17, 1862: Antietam was the bloodiest day in American history. The largely pristine battlefield is threatened by a cell tower proposal that could be seen from most of the field.

Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 19, 1864: Cedar Creek ended Confederate control of the Shenandoah Valley. Today the site is threatened by an expanding limestone quarry and improvements to a highway interchange.

Cold Harbor, Va., May 31 - June 12, 1864: Changes to the Hanover County Comprehensive Plan have doubled the allowable zoning density on parts of this battlefield.

Hunterstown, Pa., July 2, 1863: Often referred to as Gettysburgs North Cavalry Field, Hunterstown is just one example of the rapid, unchecked growth that plagues Adams County.

Monocacy, Md., July 9, 1864: Known as the battle that saved Washington, Monocacy is threatened by a proposed waste-to-energy facility, the widening of a highway bisecting the battlefield and proposed electric transmission corridors.

Natural Bridge, Fla., March 6, 1865: This battle kept Tallahassee out of Union hands. Just seven acres of this Sunshine State battlefield are protected.

Perryville, Oct. 8, 1862: The largest battle fought in Kentucky ensured Union control of the Bluegrass State. The last agriculturally zoned land in city limits was recently rezoned for highway commercial.

Prairie Grove, Ark., Dec. 7, 1862: Prairie Grove faces an uncertain future due to rapid population growth in what was once a quiet corner of the state.

Savannah, Ga., Dec. 10- 22, 1864: As new houses, commercial establishments and roads are built, the 1864 defenses, scattered throughout the suburbs of Savannah, are in danger of being lost.

Spring Hill, Tenn., Nov. 29, 1864: Spring Hill, the precursor to the Souths disastrous defeat at nearby Franklin, is today threatened with some of the most rapid, unchecked development in the nation.

CWPT is dedicated to preserving our nations remaining Civil War battlefields. CWPTs website is located at www.civilwar.org

(For a copy of the report and other materials, visit us online at http://www.civilwar.org/mebr)


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