Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 06/18/09

Civil War Preservation Trust To Transfer Key Part of Harpers Ferry Battlefield to NPS

Transfer ceremony is part of day-long event kicking-off 150th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid

(Washington, D.C.) – Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (NHP) will expand by 176 acres on Thursday June 25, 2009, as the Civil War Preservation Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to protecting the country’s remaining Civil War battlefields, transfers a key part of the battlefield to the National Park Service (NPS) during ceremonies on historic School House Ridge.

The transfer ceremony will be part of a day-long series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid and the beginning of the American Civil War.  Other events include panel discussions by leading Civil War scholars as well as a tour of NPS-owned sites associated with John Brown’s raid and the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry.  The anniversary event is cosponsored by NPS and the Virginia and West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commissions.
Harpers Ferry was the scene of two pivotal events in Civil War history.  Many historians consider militant abolitionist John Brown’s October 1859 raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, an attempt to incite armed slave rebellion, one of the Civil War’s precipitating causes.  The Battle of Harpers Ferry, fought on September 12–15, 1862, culminated with the largest mass surrender of U.S. troops until World War II. 

CWPT acquired the $1.3 million School House Ridge property in 2002 with the aid of federal and state matching grants.  In the ensuing years, the property has been maintained with an eye toward improving the visitor experience by transferring the land to NPS.

WHAT: Transfer of Key Battlefield Land to Harpers Ferry NHP

WHO: CWPT President Jim Lighthizer, Harpers Ferry NHP Acting Superintendent Dennis Frye and Friends of Harpers Ferry President Scott Faulkner

WHEN: Thursday June 25, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: School House Ridge, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, off Bakerton Road, Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
View Map of Event Location »

CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s remaining Civil War battlefields.  Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 25,000 acres of hallowed ground, including 325 acres at Harpers Ferry.  CWPT’s website is located at


  • Jim Campi (CWPT)
    (202) 367-1861 x7205
  • Mary Koik (CWPT)
    (202) 367-1861 x7231

Related Links

 Harper's Ferry CWPT Event


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