(Atlanta, Ga.) - The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), the nation's largest nonprofit battlefield preservation group, announced today that it saved 3,126 acres of hallowed ground in 2004. The announcement was made in Atlanta, Georgia, during the January meeting of CWPT's Board of Trustees.
"Our primary business is saving hallowed ground," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "And 2004 turned out to be one of our best years ever."
Among the historic properties rescued by CWPT in the past twelve months were parcels at Mansfield, Louisiana; Shiloh, Tennessee; Appomattox, Virginia; and Corrick's Ford, West Virginia. Substantial victories were also achieved at Trevilian Station (1,120 acres) and White Oak Road battlefields (804 acres), both in Virginia.
However, CWPT's best known success in 2004 was the rescue of 140 acres of battlefield land on the Mullins Farm at Chancellorsville. The purchase of this property was the culmination of a 30-month battle to save this historic site from commercial and residential development. In addition, CWPT partnered with the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust to save another 17 acres on the western side of Chancellorsville Battlefield.
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 3,126 acres saved in 2004, that goal was surpassed by nearly 4,000 acres. CWPT and its predecessor organizations have saved more than 21,000 acres since 1987.
Lighthizer credited the loyal support of CWPT members as the principal reason for the organization's success. "Our 67,000 members are some of the most bighearted contributors in the nation. Their generosity made the victories of 2004 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 2004 were the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, and the Transportation Enhancement Program.
CWPT is a 67,000-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.