A photograph of MacDuffer’s Adventure Mini Golf in Gettysburg

MacDuffer’s Adventure Mini Golf in Gettysburg ready for removal.

American Battlefield Trust

Help Restore History at Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, Slaughter Pen Farm & more!

The Opportunity 

To restore land and history at Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, Slaughter Pen Farm, Lookout Mountain, and New Market Heights, we must raise $287,000. 

These six battlefield tracts have been saved from the bulldozers, the commercial developers, the billion-dollar tech companies — thanks to the support of Trust donors and partners. 

But it’s simply not enough to buy the land and declare “Victory! ... Battlefield saved!” That’s only half the battle. In many instances, the Trust is required to restore the land before it can be transferred to our nonprofit or government partners. 

Now, we need your help to finish the job and restore these battlefields. 

The work required at each battlefield is varied. Each will cost tens of thousands of dollars. But this is the moment when we must back up our earlier wins with our enduring commitment to preservation. It’s going to take a whole lot of hard work! And a lot of money. The work is not cheap and getting more expensive every day.  

And unlike so many of the purchase opportunities, there are no federal or state matching funds to lighten our load. We must raise every penny of the $287,000. Can the Trust count on your help? Please make a donation toward battlefield restoration today. 

The Restoration Sites 

A photograph of an overgrown defunct mini golf course
MacDuffer’s Adventure Mini Golf in Gettysburg ready for removal. Jake Slagle (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Battle of Gettysburg 

The first project at Gettysburg is to tear down the former MacDuffer’s Adventure Mini Golf Park. Entering Gettysburg from the south, this is a 1980s roadside attraction that needs attention. 

The concrete, water pumps, and underground pipes need to be removed and replaced with grass and native trees. 

You should be able to look across the landscape and imagine General Pickett’s Charge or the crowds gathering for Lincoln’s historic address. Not a mini putt-putt course no longer in use.  

The second project at Gettysburg is a labor of love at the historic James Thompson House, right across the road from General Lee’s Headquarters on the south side at the crest of Seminary Ridge. 

The paint is chipping off and some of the historic shutters are cracking. Just like the upkeep and maintenance you must do on your own home; the James Thompson House needs some long overdue repairs and repainting. The work needs to be done in keeping with its history, which adds to the expense. 

A photograph of a structure and debris at the Cold Harbor Battlefield
This area needs to be cleared of structures and debris to restore the site for incorporation into the Cold Harbor battlefield landscape. American Battlefield Trust

Cold Harbor, Lookout Mountain, and New Market Heights 

The work required at Cold Harbor, Lookout Mountain, and New Market Heights includes demolishing non-historic structures, removing trash and debris, and restoring the sites for incorporation into the battlefield landscape. 

The project at New Market Heights is especially urgent. We have to remove the late 1970s house by the end of October to meet our obligation with a government grant. 

Each of these projects is an eyesore on the current battlefields, and they need to be restored, right away! 

A photograph of a structure on the Slaughter Pen Farm Battlefield
Once this farmhouse is demolished, work will begin to restore the land as the start of a trailhead where visitors can experience the hallowed ground of Slaughter Pen Farm. American Battlefield Trust

Slaughter Pen Farm

We recently paid off the loan for Slaughter Pen Farm — thanks to so many generous and good folks like you. Now we can complete the restoration of this hallowed ground.

Luckily, a relative of a former property owner, who farms the property, believes in our mission and wants to do the right thing. He has offered to pay for the demolition of the post-war farmhouse, which means tens of thousands of dollars in savings. Once that is done, we will need to remove electric poles and some anachronistic fencing as well as landscape the area.

When the house is removed and the area is restored, this tract at Slaughter Pen Farm will open as the start of a trailhead with interpretive signs.

Help complete unfinished work, critical to our nation’s legacy.

This work isn’t glamorous. It’s roll-up-your-sleeves hard work and it takes time and resources. But it’s absolutely essential to create authentic battlefield experiences.

We can’t just acquire lands that have been compromised and corrupted by decades of neglect and development and just leave them as they are. We have to restore hallowed ground. And that takes a powerful commitment both to history, and also to posterity.

You truly are the heart and soul of the American Battlefield Trust, and through your gift today, you are doing something good for your country that will endure. Please help the Trust raise $287,000 in the next 30 days so we can finish what we’ve started.

Donate Now

“It’s not enough to buy the land and declare “Victory! ... Battlefield saved!” That’s only half the battle. In many instances, we are required to restore the land before we can transfer it to our government or nonprofit partners.”
David N. Duncan, President
Civil War  |  Preserve

Slaughter Pen Farm

In 2006, the Trust announced the most ambitious private battlefield acquisition project in American history — a $12 million fundraising campaign to...