(Washington, D.C.) – This week, the Civil War Trust, the nation’s leading organization seeking to protect the hallowed ground of our rapidly disappearing Civil War battlefields, announced that with the completion of its efforts at Dallas and Resaca, Ga., it has forever preserved more than 30,000 acres of historic land. To mark the occasion, Trust president James Lighthizer issued the following statement alongside a personal video message to the group’s supporters:
“When I took the helm of this organization in late 1999, neither I nor anyone involved in the battlefield preservation movement, could have predicted this level of success. But year in and year out, the passionate support of this organization’s members, and their heartfelt desire to leave a legacy greater than themselves for their children and grandchildren, has propelled us beyond my wildest expectations. To each and every one of these individuals I owe a great debt of personal thanks.
“The figure of 30,000 acres — the equivalent of 47 square miles — is almost too large to comprehend. But in the case of this organization, it is a tangible success that can be visited and appreciated one battlefield at a time. It’s 240 acres at Antietam, 710 at Corinth and 385 at Perryville. It’s 377 at Shiloh, 705 at Gettysburg and 1,798 at Brandy Station. It’s 117 on Morris Island, 952 at Malvern Hill and 212 at Wilson’s Creek. And more land at scores more battlefields — 110 sites spread across 20 states.
“But our work is far from done, with these sites are disappearing at the alarming rate of 30 acres per day. And so, although today we pause to celebrate our achievements, we will not rest in our efforts. As we begin the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, let us redouble our work to set aside these irreplaceable landscapes as a lasting memorial to the brave men who took up arms during our nation’s most turbulent hour. What legacy for the sesquicentennial could be more fitting?”
The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 30,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org.