Fifteen Additional At-Risk Sites
History Under Siege - 2009 Most Endangered Battlefields
Averasboro, N. CAROLINA – March 16, 1865
Located just 20 miles from Fayetteville, one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing cities, Averasboro is poised to see an immense uptick in population and infrastructure as the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decision to expand Fort Bragg takes effect. The military installation is expected to experience an influx of 40,000 new military and civilian personnel.
Bayou Fourche, ARKANSAS – September 10, 1863
The growth of Little Rock, Ark., has obscured many of the sites associated with the battle and subsequent evacuation of the city. Today, several markers and monuments are located inside Pratt Remmel Park, near Interstate 440, but further expansion of Little Rock National Airport threatens to consume additional battlefield land.
Camp Aleghany, W. VIRGINIA – December 13, 1861
Plans for a wind energy development in far western Highland County, Va., could have serious negative effects on this mountaintop battlefield and encampment site just one mile away, across the state border in West Virginia. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ attempts to evaluate the project, which could include a score of 400-foot-tall turbines, have been hampered by a lack of cooperation from the developer.
Defenses of Washington – 1861–1865
Although interest in the 68 forts that once defended the Union capital appears to be growing, there is still a great lack of public education about these historic resources. The National Capital Planning Commission and others are studying strategies for integration of the various forts into education programs and community initiatives.
Fort Monroe, VIRGINIA – 1861–1865
As the deadline for the Army’s departure approaches, the Commonwealth of Virginia, preservation groups and local citizens continue to grapple with how best to balance protecting the site’s historic character with allowing for economic development. The proposed reuse plan under review by the Department of Defense has won praise from many quarters, but it does not specify which state or federal agency would oversee the site.
Hoke’s Run, W. VIRGINIA – July 2, 1861
Despite the recent preservation of two small land parcels and the installation of several interpretive signs, the first battlefield in the Shenandoah is threatened by its proximity to Interstate 81 and burgeoning commercial development in the area. The historic Porterfield House, built by Davey Crockett’s grandfather and a major landmark of the battle, has been on and off the market several times.
Honey Springs, OKLAHOMA – July 17, 1863
The combatants at Honey Springs included Native Americans and African Americans, making it one of the most diverse engagements of the war. Despite early and frequent calls for preservation at this unique site, still only about one third of the total battlefield is permanently protected.
Lone Jack, MISSOURI – August 16, 1862
This small battlefield southeast of Kansas City is quickly being hemmed in by development. The final phase of a housing development is going up to the east, while a new high school has eaten up land to the south. A fast food restaurant on the northern portion of the field will soon be joined by a strip mall. The approximately 30 acres on the western side of the battlefield that remain empty are zoned commercial and are currently on the market.
Lovejoy’s Station, GEORGIA – August 20, 1864
The Clayton County Water Authority is contemplating shifting several hundred acres northwest of preserved battlefield land from use as a wastewater spray field to an artificial wetland. The remains of federal campsites and entrenchments dug by both armies would be inundated, as would the site of the McVickers House, from which Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman famously sent a dispatch proclaiming, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.”
Morrisville, N. CAROLINA –April 14, 1865
Morrisville saw the last assault by Sherman’s army in North Carolina in 1865. In the last eight years, the population of this small town in North Carolina’s Research Triangle has tripled. The Land Use and Transportation Plan currently under revision has residents asking critical questions about what continued growth can be accommodated without overwhelming their existing infrastructure.
Picacho Pass, ARIZONA - April 15, 1862
A six-mile-long, 913-acre railroad switching yard has been proposed for land just outside Picacho Pass State Park. Although the county has already approved the project, state legislation passed in the summer of 2008 will require environmental impact studies to be performed before construction can begin on the westernmost battlefield of the Civil War.
Reed’s Bridge, ARKANSAS – August 26, 1863
Several parcels are for sale in the core area of this battlefield northeast of Little Rock. Despite ongoing efforts to link the various Civil War sites in the capital region, the Jacksonville City Council declined to buy a half-acre portion of the battlefield in November 2008, citing the land’s $56,000 price tag.
Shepherdstown, W. VIRGINIA – September 19–20, 1862
Although local county officials initially blocked a housing development slated for the most critical portion of the battlefield, court decisions have overturned that ruling. Despite this setback, federal legislation currently under consideration would study the feasibility if making the site part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park or Antietam National Battlefield.
Vicksburg, MISSISSIPPI – May 18–July 4, 1863
A recent “State of the Parks” report issued by the National Parks Conservation Association found that only five less-than-full-time interpretive staff serve the park’s approximately 600,000 visitors each year. Poor archival conditions for cultural resources — particularly the USS Cairo, which is exposed to the elements outdoors under a canvass tarpaulin — also provide considerable challenges for this underfunded battlefield park.
Yadkin River Bridge, N. CAROLINA – April 12, 1865
Despite earlier stop-work orders from the local government for unauthorized construction, developers of a planned automobile racing track anticipate work to begin in earnest this year. Moreover, Duke Energy is considering new power plant nearby, in an area also rich with Revolutionary War history.