For Immediate Release: 02/26/02
Civil War Preservation Trust Unveils Most Endangered Battlefields Report
(Washington, D.C.) - At a news conference today, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) unveiled its annual report on the status of the nation's historic battlegrounds. The report, entitled America's Most Endangered Battlefields, identifies the most threatened Civil War sites in the United States and what can be done to rescue them.
"Our Civil War battlefields are vanishing at an alarming pace," warned CWPT President James Lighthizer during the news conference. "Once lost, these hallowed battlegrounds can never be replaced."
The Most Endangered Battlefields report is composed of two parts: the first section cites the 10 most endangered battlefields in the nation, with a brief description of their history and preservation status; the second section lists 15 additional "at risk" sites that round out the top 25 endangered battlefields in the country.
The sites mentioned in the report range from the famous to the nearly forgotten. However, all have a 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. "With so many Civil War sites under siege from urban sprawl, we could easily have selected a hundred," Lighthizer noted.
Joining Lighthizer at the news conference was Civil War author and preservationist Brian Pohanka. In his remarks, Pohanka emphasized, "Real people risked their lives at these battlefields for ideals they cherished above life itself. Allowing these sites to fall prey to development dishonors the memory of their courage and sacrifice."
The top 10 endangered battlefields cited in the report are:
* Franklin, Tenn.
* Gaines'Mill and Cold Harbor,Va.
* Harpers Ferry,W.V.
* Stones River, Tenn.
"These battlefields are the last tangible reminders of the valor of those who donned the blue and gray," Lighthizer stated. "They must be preserved."
With 36,000 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.