For the First Time, Congress Allocates Money to Protect Battlefields from Revolutionary War and War of 1812

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The house that served as Gen. Robert E. Lee's headquarters during Battle of Gettsyburg (photo: Civil War Trust)

More than 200 years after the fact, Congress has finally decided to spend money on preserving battlefields from some of the most critical wars in American history.


In a first, lawmakers have expanded the federal matching grants program that until now only supported landmarks from the Civil War. Now the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program (pdf) will also be able to accept requests to fund and preserve battlefields from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.


The change was approved through the reauthorization of the program included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (pdf) that recently cleared Congress.


“This is a historic moment for the battlefield preservation movement,” Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer said. “For 15 years, the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program has been an invaluable tool for protecting the hallowed battlegrounds of the Civil War. Now, for the first time, battlefields associated with America’s other formative conflicts, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, will also benefit from this public-private partnership.”


The program has been around since 1999 and has helped preserve more than 23,000 acres of battlefield land in 17 states, according to the Civil War Trust. Among the sites preserved is the house that served as General Robert E. Lee’s headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Colonnade Monument on the Princeton Revolutionary War Battlefield in New Jersey.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Congress Enacts Landmark Legislation to Preserve America's Endangered Battlefields (Civil War Trust)

2015 Battlefield Planning Grants (National Park Service)

American Battle Monuments Commission (AllGov)


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