The federal Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants Program remains one of the most successful historic land preservation tools in American history. This matching grants program has been used to preserve more than 30,000 acres of battlefield. It is a vital resource utilized by the American Battlefield Trust and its partners to protect hallowed grounds located outside National Park Service boundaries.
The Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants Program was first funded in 1999 to preserve endangered Civil War battlefields. Among the battlefields that have benefitted from the program are some of the most famous in our history: Antietam, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Petersburg, Shiloh, the Wilderness and Vicksburg.
In 2014, the program was expanded to include Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites. This expansion has created new preservation opportunities in several states; already the program has enabled the Trust to preserve nearly 700 acres of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites at places like Princeton, New Jersey; Hanging Rock, South Carolina; Kettle Creek, Georgia; and Sackets Harbor, New York. As such, funding for the program should reflect these preservation needs.
With the approaching 250th anniversary of America’s War for Independence, there is no better time than now to reauthorize the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program. The bipartisan Preserving America’s Battlefields Act (H.R. 6108), introduced by U.S. Congressman Jody Hice of Georgia, does just that. The bill funds the program up to $20 million a year and includes provisions to enable nonprofit groups like the American Battlefield Trust to restore and interpret battlefield sites.
Please use our simple online advocacy form to send a letter to your elected representatives in Washington and ask them to co-sponsor the Preserving America’s Battlefields Act. Passage of this important legislation will enable us to continue protecting our nation’s hallowed battlegrounds for future generations.