Most American’s have some knowledge about this Nation’s two wars for Independence, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The Revolutionary War, fought from 1775 to 1784, to gain American Independence from Britain is better known. The War of 1812, fought from 1811 to 1815, to secure American Independence from Britain and promote expansion, is more obscure. But what has become of the battlefields and other areas associated with those conflicts? The National Park Service has the honor of preserving numerous battlefields and areas that are important in understanding each of these conflicts. Many more are preserved by states and local governments or other public or private entities.
As the 225th Anniversary of the Revolutionary War approached in 2000, members of the United States Congress were concerned that the “historical integrity of many Revolutionary War sites and War of 1812 sites” were at risk. In order to determine the significance of the sites and to asses long and short term threats to their integrity, Congress passed The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Historic Preservation Study Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-333, Section 603; 16 USC Ia-5 Notes).
After years of extensive research and collaboration by all entities involved in preservation of these many important and invaluable sites, the resulting “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States” was completed and presented to Congress. “This comprehensive study is an outstanding achievement and will help assure the protection of the many important Revolutionary War and War of 1812 areas nationwide,” said Mary A. Bomar, Director of the National Park Service. “I am proud that the National Park Service produced this landmark study, and that we preserve and protect many of the areas highlighted in the report.”
The Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States is available by accessing the following link at: http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp/Rev1812Study.htm. It is the most comprehensive list of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites taken on by the federal government. The report reflects the results of years of study and was successful in identifying the sites of almost 3,000 events associated with the two wars, including 60 sites within the National Park System. The study is perhaps the broadest federal effort ever undertaken to determine the status of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 resources. “While there is so much literature on the history of these wars, this report will stand out for the contribution it makes to understanding of the location and condition of these sites,” said Robert K. Sutton, Chief Historian, National Park Service.
Through partnerships and a tireless commitment to history and the future, the resources that reflect the roots of American freedom, sacrifice, and sovereignty can be saved for future generations through prompt and focused action today.
The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 are preserved in the National Park System in areas as diverse as Independence Hall in Pennsylvania, Fort McHenry National Monument in Maryland, King’s Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina, Fort Stanwix National Monument in New York, Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial in Ohio, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana, and Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts.
The National Park Service has developed a web site to highlight many of the sites preserved by the NPS as well as State and local governments and public and private entities. By logging onto the Preserving Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites website at: http://nps.gov/pub_aff/rev1812/intro.htm, people can learn of the many special places preserved throughout this nation. In addition to a list of sites, the web site includes information and web links to books and documents related to the revolutionary War and War of 1812.