For Immediate Release: 02/27/01
Civil War Preservation Trust Unveils Most Endangered Battlefields Report
CWPT takes a revealing look at the ten most endangered battlefields in the nation
(Washington, D.C.) - At a news conference this morning, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) unveiled an investigative report on the status of the nation's historic battlegrounds. The report, entitled "America's Most Endangered Battlefields," identifies the ten most threatened Civil War sites in the United States and what can be done to rescue them.
"America's battlefields are disappearing at an alarming pace," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Without swift and decisive action, many of the sites listed in our report will be little more than a memory within a few years."
The sites targeted in the report range from among the most famous to the nearly forgotten. But all have one critical feature in common - each one or part of one is in danger of being lost forever. The battlefields were chosen based on geographic location, military significance, and the immediacy of current threats. In addition, several noted historians and preservationists participated in the selection process. "With so many Civil War sites under siege from urban sprawl, we easily could have selected a hundred," Lighthizer noted.
The ten battlefields cited by CWPT are as follows:
- Allatoona, Georgia
- Brice's Cross Roads, Mississippi
- Fort Fisher, North Carolina
- Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
- Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
- Loudoun Valley, Virginia
- Mansfield, Louisiana
- Raymond, Mississippi
- Stones River,Tennessee
- The Wilderness, Virginia
The report also identifies fifteen vitally important battlefields that did not make the final ten.
When asked why saving these sites is important, Lighthizer was quick to respond: "These battlefields are the last tangible reminders of sacrifices made by those who wore the blue and gray. When we destroy the land, we destroy the memory of that sacrifice."
In his remarks, Lighthizer also reminded his audience about the financial benefits of battlefield preservation. "Although battlefields are tourist magnets, they are not renewable economic resources," Lighthizer stated. "A strip mall or townhouse development can be built practically anywhere. An historic battlefield cannot."
With 35,000 members, CWPT 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 through education and heritage tourism.