(Wilmington, NC) - The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), the nation's largest nonprofit battlefield preservation group, announced today that it saved 2,110 acres of hallowed ground in 2003. The announcement was made in Wilmington, North Carolina, during the January meeting of CWPT's Board of Trustees.
"Our number one business is saving battlefield land," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "And in 2003, business was good."
Among the battlefield properties rescued by CWPT in the past twelve months were 105 acres at Fort Donelson, Tennessee; 45 acres at East Cavalry Field in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; 211 acres of battlefield land and earthworks at Hatchers Run, Virginia; 685 acres at Mine Run, Virginia; and 62 acres at Richmond, Kentucky.
CWPT was formed in November 1999 as the result of a merger of two national nonprofit battlefield groups, the Civil War Trust and the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites. At the time of the merger, CWPT declared its intention to save 10,000 acres in its first five years. With the addition of the 2,110 acres saved in 2003, that goal was reached in just four years. CWPT and its predecessor organizations have saved more than 18,000 acres since 1987.
Lighthizer credited the loyal support of CWPT members as the principal reason for the organization's success. "Our 50,000 members are some of the most bighearted contributors in the nation. Their generosity made the victories of 2003 possible."
Money donated to CWPT for land acquisition is leveraged with funding from federal, state and local conservation programs. The principal sources of federal funding for battlefield preservation in 2003 were the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, and the Transportation Enhancement Program. In addition, the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund provided nearly $1 million in grants to save 669 acres of battlefield land at Averasboro and Bentonville.
CWPT is a 50,000-member nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites and promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.