Celebrate Our Victories
Together, we have saved more than 54,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states, including historic properties at Antietam, Bentonville, Chancellorsville, Chattanooga, Gettysburg, Manassas, Princeton, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Wilson’s Creek, the Wilderness and more. Celebrate our recent victories.
At the start of 2022, the American Battlefield Trust announced that it had reached a landmark moment in its preservation journey, with land saved at 150 individual battlefield sites. A site of significance for Black participation in the nation’s founding conflict, the 150th site is Great Bridge, Va. With support from the American Battlefield Protection Program, the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund, the City of Chesapeake, the Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways Foundation and Trust donors, our organization halted commercial development by acquiring a 0.66-acre tract that had been listed “for lease.” By ensuring its preservation, the organization brought new possibilities to the small but significant property.
Once the site of Kentucky’s largest battle during the Civil War, the Perryville Battlefield has been further preserved with the American Battlefield Trust’s acquisition of 51.5 acres. Fought on October 8, 1862, the battle swirled around this tract, which is the last remaining property that made up the wartime farm of John Russell. Furthermore, the acreage is a connective puzzle piece, as it is surrounded by land already owned by Perryville Battlefield State Park. Recognizing its potential to augment the interpretive experience, the American Battlefield Protection Program was a pivotal partner in this preservation effort. With 1,202 acres of hallowed ground already preserved by the Trust at this treasured site, the organization takes pride in the feat but looks forward to growth opportunities that are yet to come.
In its most recent victory, the American Battlefield Trust wrapped up a large chapter of preservation efforts at the Harpers Ferry Battlefield by donating to the National Park Service the last of four tracts — saved from 2013-2014 — that total approximately 17 acres. This small-but-profound 0.61-acre parcel will now be part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and stand in the company of nearly 343 Trust-saved acres that have been incorporated into the park. Once slated to become the site of a new gas station and mini-mart, the property was saved in 2013 — along with 3.28 adjacent acres — through the collaborative efforts of the Trust, the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Park Service and the Bank of Charles Town. Over the past 29 years, the Trust has succeeded in saving 542 acres of hallowed ground at the West Virginia battlefield.
In adding almost 99 acres of hallowed ground at THREE Civil War battlefields to its already-robust victory portfolio, the American Battlefield Trust marked several milestones. The feat is especially gratifying for fans of the Western Theater, adding more than 22 acres at Shiloh, Tenn., and upwards of 76 acres to our tally associated with the Vicksburg Campaign — nearly 44 acres at Raymond, Miss., and just short of 33 acres at Vicksburg, Miss.
In honor of its first-ever Victory Week, the American Battlefield Trust proudly announces a diverse round-up of preservation victories. Looking across ten battlefields in six states, the news speaks to roughly 633 acres saved by the nation’s premier battlefield land preservation organization. This mighty acreage represents two Revolutionary War battlefields, three Virginia battlefields from the Civil War’s Eastern Theater, and five battlefields from the Civil War’s Western Theater. The Trust recognizes that a great work ethic is only half the battle — as victories like this are determined by the support of tenacious donors and like-minded partners. Such partners included the South Carolina Conservation Bank, South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, Beaufort County, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program, North Carolina Land and Water Fund, Wilson’s Creek Battlefield Foundation, generous landowners, and the Tennessee Civil War Sites Preservation Fund, administered by the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Recently, the American Battlefield Trust stepped up to help the North American Land Trust (NALT) secure and preserve 72 acres at the Revolutionary War’s Brandywine Battlefield in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania. Previously identified as one of the most important unprotected tracts on the battlefield for its role in the September 1777 Battle of Brandywine, this land will be protected forever under a conservation easement held by Chadds Ford Township, who — along with the American Battlefield Trust, Delaware County’s Open Space and Recreation Grant Program, Mt. Cuba Center, the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources — provided financial support to the NALT project. Plans to open the land to the public as the Brinton Run Preserve will allow visitors to engage with its abundant nature and Revolutionary past.
The Trust’s most recent victory covers 226 acres across four Civil War battlefields, two East and two West. In Virginia, the effort was comprised of 101 acres at Reams Station and nearly three acres that played a role in both Peebles Farm and the Breakthrough at Petersburg. In the West, there were 120 acres at Jackson (Salem Cemetery), Tennessee, and two acres at Champion Hill, Mississippi. The federal American Battlefield Protection Program demonstrated supported all for projects with matching grants. The HTR Foundation and the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund aided efforts at Reams Station, while the Mississippi Department of Archives and History made victory possible at Champion Hill. Our Jackson effort was funded under a grant from the Tennessee Civil War Sites Preservation Fund, administered by the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Contributing to North Carolina’s Civil War story, six acres at the Bentonville Battlefield in Johnston County, N.C., are now secure due to the tenacious efforts of American Battlefield Trust, with support from the American Battlefield Protection Program. The newly-saved acreage helped set the stage for the three-day Battle of Bentonville in March 1865 — the battle that marked the start of the last series of standoffs between Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee. With over 1,860 acres of hallowed ground already saved by the Trust at this central North Carolina site, the organization continues to march toward the comprehensive preservation of the first day’s battle.
The American Battlefield Trust has yet again kept history intact at the famed Gettysburg Battlefield — this time, through the preservation of three parcels totaling nearly 49 acres. Had it not been for the generosity of the Trust’s tenacious members, along with the American Battlefield Protection Program and a landowner donation, this storied hallowed ground would’ve likely succumbed to development threats along Baltimore Pike. Fortunately, priceless views will persist and opportunities for expanded interpretation will flourish.
Known today as Blakeley Bluff, the Trust teamed up with The Conservation Fund and the University of South Alabama to save this 60-acre site at the Fort Blakeley Battlefield in southwest Alabama. The site witnessed the Federals, composed of nearly one-third U.S. Colored Troops, overrun Confederate defenses in a raging assault on April 9, 1865. And while the landscape is home to a fascinating past, it is also one of Alabama’s most endangered ecosystems. These combined reasons motivated vastly different groups to work together toward a preservation goal that benefitted all. Supporting the groups’ goal, the American Battlefield Protection Program helped fund the worthy project.