A lift clears rubble at a Trust restoration project in Gettyburg, Pa.  Little round Top is seen in the background.

Help Restore Three Sites to Their Wartime Appearance

Antietam, Fredericksburg, & Harpers Ferry

The Opportunity

To fully preserve America’s hallowed battlefields, it is our duty not only to save hallowed ground, but also to restore those lands to their authentic wartime appearance, so they can fulfill their destiny as true outdoor classrooms.

Often, we are required to restore the land before we can transfer it to another entity, such as the National Park Service or a state park. That is exactly what we are facing at three major battlefields, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Harpers Ferry.

This year marks the 160th anniversary of all three battles, and we have significant restoration projects that must happen right away at all three. These restoration projects will amount to a total bill of approximately $240,000.

Rather than divert scarce funds needed for land purchases, we have created a special Battlefield Restoration Fund to make a special all-out push to raise the money required to complete all three restoration projects on time, as well as others that are planned at many sites across the nation.

The Restoration Sites

When we purchased this land (with the generous support of good folks like you), we agreed that we would remove all non-historic structures and restore the property to its original appearance within 3 to 5 years. Now facing those deadlines, we must begin work on these projects by the end of September.


First, at Fredericksburg, where elements of Union General George Meade’s Pennsylvania Reserves penetrated the “boggy gap” in General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s lines on December 13, 1862, we must demolish and remove five houses before turning the land over to the National Park Service for inclusion in the adjacent Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Fredericksburg Restoration Project
American Battlefield Trust

Taking down the houses will return the battlefield to its original view, plus it has the added benefit of allowing more people to reach the famous Meade Marker. The Meade Marker is the impressive stone pyramid standing 23 feet high and 30 feet square that marks the location where Meade’s men made their courageous assault.

This work is not cheap, and is getting more expensive by the hour, it seems: we estimate it will take fully $125,000 to demolish the structures, haul away the debris, and restore the land.

Harpers Ferry

Next, at Harpers Ferry, the site of a vital Union garrison and a key fight in General Robert E. Lee’s Antietam Campaign, we must honor the preservation agreement we signed by removing an ugly auto repair shop and former gas station and a commercial office building from the property. That project’s total cost will be no less than $90,000.

The Battle of Harpers Ferry Restoration Work
American Battlefield Trust


Finally, at Antietam, there is an empty, rapidly degrading non-historic house and some outbuildings literally a stone’s throw from the Visitor Center, at the heart of the battlefield. This land was fought over, marched over, and fired over for most of that fateful day, still the bloodiest in our country’s history. To restore this incredible land will require another $25,000. 

TOP: A view of the Battle of Antietam battlefield taken from the roof of the Visitor Center in 1971. To this day, the view is marred by a house and some outbuildings. BOTTOM: The empty and rapidly degrading non-historic house and outbuildings are directly across the street from the Battle of Antietam Visitor Center. They should have never been built on hallowed ground and need to be removed.

Help restore these historic sites 

These crucial and necessary restoration projects at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Harpers Ferry are not only sizeable, but we are required to complete them by year’s end — structures removed, soil remediated, and land regraded.  

To help mark the 160th anniversary of these three important battles, please consider a special gift to the Battlefield Restoration Fund today. We simply can’t do this work without you and any amount you can contribute today will help.

Donate Now

“To fully preserve America’s hallowed battlefields, I hope you will agree that it is our responsibility — in fact, our duty — not only to save hallowed, but also to restore those lands to their authentic wartime appearance, so they can fulfill their destiny as true outdoor classrooms.”
David N. Duncan, President

Return Battlefields to Their Wartime Appearance

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Battle of Antietam page - battle maps, history articles, photos, and preservation news on this important 1862 Civil War battle in Maryland.


Our Battle of Fredericksburg page includes history articles, battle maps, expert videos, photos, and recommended web links for this important 1862...

Harpers Ferry

The Battle of Harpers Ferry page includes battle maps, history articles, historical facts, photos, recommended books, preservation news, web links...