Introduction & Selection 2009
History Under Siege: 2009 Guide to America’s Most Endangered Battlefields
In your hands you hold the 2009 edition of History Under Siege (TM), the Civil War Preservation Trust’s (CWPT) annual report on endangered Civil War battlefields. This report is more than a list of threatened historic sites — it is also a roadmap for protecting these tangible links to our history.
Although many battlefields are in danger of being lost forever, CWPT is making significant progress toward ensuring their protection. In 2008, CWPT rescued hallowed ground in eight states, at legendary battlefields like Morris Island, S.C., Shiloh, Tenn., and Appomattox Court House, Va. Since CWPT was created more than two decades ago, we have protected more than 25,000 acres of battlefield land in 19 states.
Despite such success, our work is far from done. We hope this report energizes both longtime supporters and new allies to continue the fight to protect and preserve these priceless treasures.
History Under Siege (TM) has two distinct components: the first section identifies the 10 most endangered battlefields in the nation, and the second section lists 15 additional “at risk” sites, rounding out the 25 battlefields we believe need the most immediate attention. No attempt is made to rank the sites within the two tiers — instead, they are listed in alphabetical order.
The list is the result of a lengthy and difficult selection process. Sites are nominated by our members, and final decisions are made — with the assistance of historians, other preservation groups and CWPT’s board of trustees — based on geographic location, military significance and preservation status.
To analyze each site, CWPT consults a 1993 study by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (CWSAC) that prioritized sites according to their historical significance and state of preservation. Whenever possible, CWPT has cited the CWSAC rating system throughout this report. Battlefields are ranked Priority I (sites considered the most threatened) to Priority IV (sites considered all but lost). CWSAC also ranks battlefields from A (the most historically significant sites) to D (sites of local importance).