Close this search box.

Fighting for Battlefields

The Civil War Preservation Trust named the nation’s ten most threatened battlefield sites. Eight are in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic:

1. Monocacy (Va.) is threatened by a planned waste-to-energy facility with a proposed 350-foot-tall smokestack, which would be visible from much of the battlefield.

2. Wilderness (Va.) preservationists are facing an uphill battle to stop Walmart from building a new 138,000-square foot supercenter across from the battlefield.

3. Cedar Creek (Va.) is threatened by the expansion of a limestone mining operation on core battlefield land. Heavy machinery and slag piles from existing quarries are already visible.

4. Fort Gaines (Ala.) is threatened by recent dredging practices in the Gulf of Mexicon, which have significantly hastened the erosion of Dauphin Island, threatening to cut the island in two. Some 400 feet of historic battlefield have already been erased.

5. Gettysburg (Penn.): Although it is the best-known of all Civil War battlefields, Gettysburg still faces threats to its preservation and interpretation. Many historically significant locations on the battlefield lie outside the boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park and are vulnerable to residential or commercial development.

6. New Market Heights (Va.) is completely at the mercy of development with no land protected by preservation organizations. Some significant potions of the battlefield have already been destroyed by a housing development, and growing traffic congestion on Virginia Route 5 will ultimately necessitate the widening of the highway, threatening approximately 75-acres of still-pristine battlefield land.

7. South Mountain (Md.): The historic battleground is threatened by a $55 million natural gas compression station planned nearby.

8. Spring Hill (Tenn.): General Motors is looking to sell approximately 500 acres of unused land associated with the battlefield. Initial plans call for 400 acres of high-density development including apartments, a hotel, a theater, restaurants and retail and office space adjacent to the battlefield.

Although many battlefields are endangered, Civil War Preservation Trust is making significant progress in the fight to preserve them. In 2008, the organization rescued approximately 1,000 acres of hallowed ground at legendary battlefields such as Champion Hill, Miss.; Bentonville, N.C.; Shiloh, Tenn.; and Brandy Station, Va. Since its creation two decades ago, CWPT has protected more than 25,000 acres at more than 100 sites in 19 states.

Share this post:

Discover more in the Blue Ridge: