“The sesquicentennial of the American Civil War provides what may be the last great opportunity for our nation to save significant portions of battlefields from the war,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in late September.
With that startling statement, he announced nearly $2.5 million in NPS grants to acquire lands at eight Civil War battlefields. “We are pleased,” he said, “to provide funding that will assist in the permanent preservation and protection of these hallowed grounds.”
The director said the grants will help afford fee simple, outright purchases of land at Perryville, Kentucky ($43,715); Mill Springs, Kentucky ($330,500); Bentonville, North Carolina ($168,720); Franklin, Tennessee ($112,800); Second Manassas, Virginia ($196,500); Peebles’ Farm, Virginia; and Totopotomoy Creek, Virginia ($91,600). The funds will also purchase an easement at Cool Springs, Virginia ($1,500,000).
The grants specifically aim to preserve threatened Civil War battlefield land that lies outside the boundaries of nearby national park units. The funds come from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) and are awarded to states and local communities. Priority was given to battlefields listed in the National Park Service’s Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields (CWSAC Report). Funds were awarded based on a variety of criteria, most pointedly on the property’s location within CWSAC-defined core and/or study areas. Awards were also based on the severity of the threat to the battlefield land, and the availability of required non-Federal matching funds.
The grant funds were made available under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-74), which appropriated $8,985,600 for the Civil War battlefield land acquisition grants program.
Battlefields protected—Grantee, State, Amount
Perryville Battlefield, Boyle County Fiscal Court, Ky., $43,715
Mill Springs Battlefield, Wayne County, Ky., $330,500
Bentonville Battlefield, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, N.C., $168,720
Franklin Battlefield, City of Franklin, Tenn., $112,800
Cool Springs Battlefield, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Va., $1,500,000
Second Manassas Battlefield, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Va., $196,500
Peebles' Farm Battlefield, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Va., $39,881
Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Va., $91,600
Looking ahead, the Park Service says applications for the remaining balance of the funds can be accepted at any time. Criteria to consider for those applying for the Civil War Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants include:
* The LWCF Civil War Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants are awarded through a competitive process to units of state and local governments.
* Private non-profit groups may apply in partnership with state or local government sponsors;
* Each grant requires a dollar-for-dollar non-federal match.
* Grants are available for the fee simple acquisition of land, or for the acquisition of permanent, protective interests in land at Civil War battlefields listed in the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission's (CWSAC) 1993 Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields.
* Higher consideration will be given to proposals for acquisition of endangered lands at battlefields defined as Priority I or II sites in the CWSAC report.
* Complete guidelines for grant eligibility and application forms are available online at this site.