Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 10/20/14
Completion of North Anna Acquisition Pushes Civil War Trust Past 40,000 Acre Milestone
In reaching 200,000 Facebook fans, organization remains social media’s leading source of Civil War history
(Washington, D.C.) – With its recent acquisition of nearly the entirety of the May 23, 1864, North Anna battlefield, the Civil War Trust, the nation’s leading battlefield preservation organization, has forever saved more than 40,000 acres of America’s most hallowed ground. Over the summer, the Trust and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation completed a collaborative effort to place a large-scale conservation easement on land at Port Republic, Va., bringing the Trust within striking distance of the landmark total. The 654-acre purchase of the historic Fontaine Farm at North Anna, first announced in May, at the time of the battle’s 150th anniversary, also represented a first-of-its-kind opportunity for the Trust to save an entire scene of combat in one maneuver.
In honor of this momentous occasion, Trust President Jim Lighthizer issued the following statement:
“In 2011, I announced, with a great deal of excitement, that the Trust had reached the 30,000 acre milestone, just 12 years after its founding in 1999. Today, it is with unabashed pride that I can say we have saved another 10,000 acres in less than four years. That is an accomplishment unmatched in American history. We have now saved acreage equivalent to the landmass of the entire city of Richmond, Va.!
“I owe a great debt of gratitude to our 55,000 members nationwide who have made this achievement possible. To each of these individuals who believe that the legacy of Civil War battlefields is worthy of protection and care so that future generations may walk upon the fields where the fate of our nation was decided — all I can say is thank you.
“The figure of 40,000 acres — the equivalent of 62.5 square miles — is nearly beyond comprehension. The beauty of preserved land, however, is that each acre represents a piece of tangible success that can be appreciated, one battlefield at a time, for years to come. It represents battles large and small. It’s 943 acres at a place that looms large in our national consciousness, Gettysburg, Pa. It’s 3 acres at the lesser-known Palmito Ranch in south Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico. It’s 1,662 acres at Bentonville, N.C., where we’ve helped create a robust state park at a battlefield that was long considered nearly lost. It’s 209 bloody acres in the Wilderness of Virginia. It’s 122 battlefield sites spread across 20 states, stretching nearly from coast to coast, secured forever for future generations.
“While we can all allow ourselves a moment to celebrate, we cannot, by any means, let up while America’s historic landscapes continue to disappear at an alarming rate. The greatest tool in the battlefield preservation arsenal is public awareness, which is why we had further cause to rejoice recently, when the Trust’s Facebook page surpassed 200,000 fans. As a measure of Civil War perspective, that’s more people who have publicly declared their support for the modern battlefield preservation movement than the number of troops engaged in the bloody Overland Campaign of 1864. This tremendous — and growing — level of support will help us continue to achieve previously unimaginable successes.”
To help the Trust continue its efforts, visit www.civilwar.org/saveabattlefield to learn more about current projects at battlefields across the nation.
The Civil War Trust 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. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 40,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org.