Blue, Gray & Green

The economic and tourism benefit of battlefield preservation

Blue, Gray & Green cover

Lovers of history have long known that the places where important events unfolded are irreplaceable and felt that these pieces of our heritage are priceless. But only in recent years have we begun seeking ways to demonstrate the tangible economic boost that well-preserved and well-promoted historic sites can bring to the surrounding communities.

In 2005, the Civil War Trust released a report designed to give community leaders insight into the impact that heritage tourism can have on their bottom line. The findings — including tax revenue generated and local jobs supported — were powerful and helped create a broader base of support for the battlefield preservation cause.

Nearly a decade later, in the midst of the Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration, interest in this time period is higher than ever. To find out what impact this public awareness is having on battlefield communities, the Trust teamed up with the Harbinger Consulting group to survey data, analyze trends and crunch numbers.

In Blue, Gray & Green, the continued economic boost that Civil War sites generate is clearly demonstrated in concrete terms: battlefields (particularly when they host anniversary events) draw tourists, whose spending supports nearby jobs and contributes tax revenue to state and local coffers. Additionally, battlefields are community benefits, boosting property values and creating educational and recreational opportunities for residents of all ages.

If you have any questions about this study or wish to request a hard copy of our newest report, please contact Mark Coombs at