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National Park Service Awards Battlefield Preservation Grants
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: National Park Service

WASHINGTON – More than $1.1 million in National Park Service grants have been awarded to help preserve and protect America’s significant battlefield lands. Funds from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) will support 24projects at 38 battlefields in 15 states. 

“These grants help safeguard and preserve American battlefield lands,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. “It is important to protect these lands as symbols of individual sacrifice and national heritage for present and future generations.” 

This year’s grants provide funding for projects at endangered battlefields from King Philip’s War, Second Seminole War, Pequot Wars, Indian Wars, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and World War II.  Awards were given to projects in 15 states or territories entailing archeology, mapping, cultural resource survey work, documentation, planning, education and interpretation. 

Funded projects include: 
  • an archeological survey covering part of the War of 1812 Battle of Baltimore in Maryland;
  • a strategic landscape plan for the American Revolution Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania;
  • boundary delineation at the Bear River battlefield in Idaho;
  • GIS mapping and military terrain analysis at multiple U.S.-Dakota War battle sites in North Dakota;
  • a cave survey and inventory project at the World War II Battle of Peleliu in Palau;
  • re-evaluated National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Civil War Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle in Alabama; and
  • a preservation plan and community support-building for the Civil War Battle of Greenbrier River in West Virginia.
Priority was given to those groups submitting applications for nationally significant battlefields. The majority of awards were given to battlefields listed as Priority I or II sites in the National Park Service’s Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields and the Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States.

Federal, state, local, and Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions are eligible for the battlefield grants, which are awarded annually. Since 1996 more than $14 million has been awarded by the American Battlefield Protection Program to help preserve significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil. More information is available online at Brief descriptions of funded grant projects follow.

Fiscal Year 2013 Grants

Ball State University (Indiana)                                                                                   $61,577
This project will develop and produce a comprehensive preservation planning document for the battlefields that encompass the Battle of the Wabash (1791) and the Battle of Fort Recovery (1794) in Ohio, two of the largest engagements between the United States Army and Native American forces. The focus will be on a detailed preservation plan for future community development and public education. 

Ball State University (Indiana)                                                                                     $69,955
This project will conduct systematic archeological investigations of the northwest boundaries of the Battle of the Wabash (1791) and outlying agricultural land.  This battle and the Battle of Fort Recovery (1794) in Ohio, represent two of the largest engagements between the United States Army and Native American forces. The findings will be a part of an ongoing educational process at Fort Recovery State Museum and will be disseminated to the public via media and web site updates, presentations, open houses and other events. 

Baltimore Heritage, Inc. (Maryland)                                                                             $66,000
This project will conduct an archeological survey documenting resources in the area of Patterson Park, associated with Hampstead Hill and the Battle of Baltimore, which was fought during the War of 1812. The U.S. defended this site against the British in September 1814, preventing the capture of Baltimore. A public archeology outreach program will be conducted to engage local residents and visitors in the area’s War of 1812 history. 

City of Fort Madison (Iowa)                                                                                           $51,000
The goal of this preservation project is to create a land protection plan for the property and to identify best methods for interpretation.  The battle, begun in July 1813, was the largest War of 1812 battle in Iowa.  The city plans a number of public meetings to discuss the project.  In addition, landowners will be contacted and citizens will be notified of public events and copies of the preservation plan will be available. 

College of Charleston (South Carolina)                                                                         $27,349
This project will locate 15 United States naval vessels and an unidentified number of merchant ships scuttled in the Upper Patuxent River, Maryland, during the War of 1812. In August 1814, the U.S. deliberately sunk the ships to avoid capture and slow the British advance on Washington, D.C. The project will use cutting-edge satellite and laser imagery known as lidar along with sediment/strategic analysis to confirm the theory that changes in river course and sedimentation have effectively hidden the other wrecks.  This will allow for better preservation and interpretation of this battlefield. 

County of Chester (Pennsylvania)                                                                                 $57,210
Local government has ambitious plans to focus on four strategic landscapes that are related to British General William Howe’s flank march around General George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777.    Expected elements of this project will be an inventory of the nine-mile route used by Howe’s troops, specific preservation strategies and suggestions for public access.  The project will provide guidance to local authorities for municipal implementation in protecting the battlefield. 

County of Cumberland (New Jersey)                                                                             $49,500
This project will produce an archeological and interpretive study for the 1781 Battle of Dallas’ Landing, where Continental troops routed a group of Tories on the Maurice River.  The landscape remains largely untouched since the battle, and the county is seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the battle through geophysical investigations and historical and archeological research. 

Delaware County Planning Department (Pennsylvania)                                                 $26,415
The DCPD will create strategic preservation plans for two Brandywine Battlefield strategic landscapes, the Rearguard Defense and Concord Meetinghouse Staging Area. At the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777, British General William Howe defeated General George Washington but was delayed in his march to Philadelphia.  This delay was influential in the British defeat at Saratoga the following month.  The project will result in better documentation, an archeological research analysis, and more focused interpretation for the public. 

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina                                                                       $40,000
This project will accurately identify and delineate the boundary of the Cane Creek Battlefield site.  The battle between Patriots and Loyalists, fought in September 1780, caused the Patriots to retreat into Tennessee, only to emerge weeks later to win a rematch at Kings Mountain.  The victory at Kings Mountain prevented Lord Cornwallis from invading North Carolina and proved to be a turning point in the American Revolution.  A resource inventory, along with brochures and a workshop, will be produced to better inform and educate the public. 

Frederick County Landmarks Foundation, Inc. (Maryland)                                             $41,100
This project will focus on engaging the public and other stakeholders to raise awareness about Monocacy Battlefield for the purpose of educating the local community about the battlefield resources and threats.  The group will focus on the single task of evaluating the battlefield’s full historical extent.  Funds will support developing and implementing a communications strategy; fostering consensus building; developing partners or other advocacy groups; and developing brochures and other media to assist in understanding the entire battlefield landscape. 

Friends of Indian King Tavern (New Jersey)                                                                   $3,500
This project will produce a brochure interpreting the Delaware River shore in present-day Gloucester and Camden counties as a war zone from September 1777 to June 1778.  The area was considered a critical point in controlling the river approaches to nearby Philadelphia during the American Revolution.  The brochure will describe and interpret historic sites and routes in the area. 

Idaho State Historical Society                                                                                       $55,567
This project focuses on a landscape whose historic features have been largely ignored. The United States defeated the Indian forces, including Shoshone, at this Franklin County landscape in January 1863. The Society will find and record the boundaries of the Battle of Bear River, map and survey the battlefield, and amend the National Historic Landmark nomination. 

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (Connecticut)                                                         $80,000
This project will focus on site identification and documentation within the remaining two miles of the British withdrawal route following the Battle of Mistick Fort in May 1637. Thought to have been a rout of the Pequots by a combined British and Native American force, this battlefield survey will provide information on the nature of the combat, weaponry and tactics used during the battle. This is part of the effort to get eligible Pequot War sites in the National Register of Historic Places. 

Monocacy National Battlefield (Maryland)                                                                     $25,000
This project will focus on examining the battlefield’s existing National Historic Landmark (NHL) Boundary. This new study will more accurately reflect the historic battlefield and connect the two separate NHL boundaries that currently exist. The purpose is to research and update Monocacy National Battlefield’s NHL documentation in order to fully encompass the field of battle, including lands not presently owned or managed by the National Park Service. 

North Dakota State University                                                                                     $26,473
This project will identify the boundaries of military actions related to the U.S.-Dakota War in 1863 and 1864.  A GIS map locating all landscape defining features, as well as a military terrain analysis, will be conducted for the fort and trail system to raise awareness of the importance and preservation needs of these battlefield sites. 

North Dakota State University                                                                                     $62,761
This project will identify specific battlefield resources and boundaries for the July 1864 Battle of Killdeer Mountain, which pitted Brigadier General Alfred Sully’s expedition against the Sioux during the U.S.-Dakota Wars. Through military terrain analysis, research design, and interviews, the university will work with landowners and Tribes to begin a National Register of Historic Places nomination. 

Peleliu War Historical Society, Inc. (Alaska)                                                                   $79,500
This project will focus on the portions of Peleliu Island in Palau where high concentrations of unexplored World War II cave installations exist. The battle was fought between the United States and Japan between September and November, 1944.  It is considered the best preserved battlefield in the Pacific. The project will complete the inventory of World War II cave locations at Peleliu. 

Raymond W. Harvey American Legion Post 703 (New York)                                           $47,700
This project will perform primary source research and conduct an archeological survey for the Battle of Fort Anne.  This battle, fought in July 1777, was part of the Saratoga Campaign in the American Revolution.  The Americans, already retreating from a loss at Fort Ticonderoga a few days earlier, were again defeated by British forces.  The project will expand the public’s knowledge of the conflict, provide information for permanent preservation of the site, and support future interpretive and educational efforts. 

Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance Inc. (West Virginia)                                         $46,000
The goal of this project is to develop community consensus and a preservation plan for the future of the Greenbrier River/Camp Bartow site. Part of the Battle of Greenbrier River in 1861, this site protected Confederate forces in the upper Shenandoah Valley and saw them defend the camp from Union forces. The preservation partner will seek community support for this plan, and will address the future of the Camp Bartow Historic District. 

The River Alliance (South Carolina)                                                                               $39,400
This project will create an archeological and operations model for the Battle of Congaree Creek, fought near Columbia in February 1865. General William T. Sherman defeated the Confederates at Congaree Creek and advanced to Columbia. Digital mapping will be created showing the sequence of the battle, and will be the basis of planned public presentations. 

Town of Ridgeland (South Carolina)                                                                           $66,515
The Battle of Honey Hill was a failed Union army expedition under Maj. Gen. John P. Hatch that attempted to cut off the Charleston and Savannah Railroad in support of Gen. Sherman's projected arrival in Savannah.  It was considered one of the last outright victories won by Confederate forces.  This project will educate the public and address threats to the battlefield landscape by producing a GIS map series, various public workshops and materials, and a preservation plan. 

University of North Alabama                                                                                         $31,998
This project will submit a re-evaluated National Register of Historic Places nomination and create a database of historical census and cartographic documents. The Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle, in September 1864, saw the Confederates destroy the Union fort, and was the first involvement of the United States Colored Troops in Alabama. An update to the original 1973 nomination will focus on the historic battlefield landscape, and a web-forum will contain interactive maps for the public. 

University of South Carolina                                                                                         $42,790
The University of South Carolina will hold a workshop titled “Preserving Fields of Conflict: Preserving Battlefields.”  Partners and preservationists will gather to engage in training and share best practices in battlefield preservation, specifically focusing on unprotected and unidentified battle sites across the Southeast.  A website providing an education portal for teachers and students will be developed after the workshop to include findings, papers, and training guides. 

Virginia Department of Historic Resources                                                                     $29,690
The VDHR will organize and present five regional battlefield workshops to provide training and guidance on how to organize a regional or local battlefield friends group. These forums will produce a toolkit, training manual, and reports for production and distribution to participants to post online and use in potential future workshops. 

Total = $1,127,000

Posted: July 12, 2013
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