Thursday, March 19, 2009

CWPT Announces its 2009 Most Endangered Battlefields

Yesterday the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) announced it annual report on the status of the nation's most endangered battlefields. Joining the fight this year was actor Richard Dreyfus, who has provided voice overs for a number of Civil War productions, as well as moral support for history education and battlefield preservation. Dreyfus said yesterday, "These hallowed battlegrounds should be national shrines, monuments to American valor, determination, and courage. Once these irreplaceable treasures are gone, they're gone forever."

The CWPT's annual report called History Under Siege: A Guide to America's Most Endangered Civil War Battlefields, presents the 10 most endangered battlefields in the nation, providing a brief description of the history and preservation status of each site. The report also describes 15 additional at risk sites.

This year the top 10 sites are:
Monacacy, Maryland; the Wilderness, Virginia (where Walmart is trying build a new superstore even though there are several Walmarts alrady in the area); Port Gibson, Mississippi, Cedar Creek, Virginia (where quarry mining is destroying part of the battlefield); Fort Gaines, Alabama (here the enemy is nature-the Gulf coast); Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (housing development); New Market Heights, Virginia (where 14 African American Union soldiers earned the Medal of Honor); Sabine Pass, Texas; South Mountain, Maryland; and Spring Hill, Tennessee (where General Motors is seeking to sell off 500 acres around its Saturn plant to developers).

The CWPT is an active organization of which I am a proud member. They seek out opportunities to buy land and then interpret it for the benefit of all Americans. The CWPT currently has over 60,000 members and has made significant progress since it stated as the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites over 20 years ago. The organization became the CWPT in 1999, and since 1987 the CWPT has protected more than 25,000 acres at more than 100 Civil War sites in 19 states.

The CWPT's mission is simple: to preserve our nation's endangered battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. See if you can't in some way promote that mission too. For more information on the CWPT see their impressive website at

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