American Battlefield Trust Prize for History

Book prize will recognize outstanding work with $50,000 award

Since its founding in 1987 the American Battlefield Trust has worked to protect the sites on which this nation’s formative conflicts — the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and the Civil War — were decided, recognizing that those landscapes themselves are primary sources by which scholars and armchair historians alike can come to more deeply understand the past. Having now protected 58,000 at more than 155 sites in 25 states and connected more than 16 million teachers and students in 2023 alone, the organization is inaugurating a new program to call attention to landscape’s intimate connection with the historical record: the American Battlefield Trust Prize for History. 

The Prize will be made annually to a work of military history or biography that underscores the essential role of the nation’s military conflicts on the founding, formation, and perpetuation of our exceptional country. In creating this award through the generosity of an anonymous donor — meaning no money donated to the Trust for operations or programs is diverted to this purpose— we encourage authors to create works that showcase the rich research potential of historic battlefields. Our hope is to galvanize readers to action on behalf of these threatened sites, introducing the pressing need for preservation to audiences already interested in American history. 

In this inaugural year, excellent and accessible works of military history aligned with the Trust’s land preservation mission focused on the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War published in calendar years 2022 and 2023 are eligible; moving forward, consideration will be given only to the most recent calendar year. After a rigorous process to winnow the field, a group of finalists will be evaluated by a trio of exceptional historian judges: Dr. James Kirby Martin, Dr. James McPherson and Dr. Joan Waugh.  

This spring, we will announce the winner, which will receive a $50,000 prize, and two honorable mentions, which will receive $2,500 each. The handsome award itself will be presented on September 21, 2024, in conjunction with the Trust’s Grand Review in Raleigh, N.C.

Submission Guidelines: Publishers can nominate works of military history aligned with the Trust’s land preservation mission published in calendar year 2022 and 2023 by December 31, 2023. Works by employees and trustees of the American Battlefield Trust are not eligible for the duration of their tenure. For more information about the prize or the nomination process, e-mail