National Park Service Awards $2.2 Million to Protect Historic Southern Battlegrounds

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Raymond Gehman/Corbis via Getty Images

The National Park Service has announced money in grants for protecting Civil War battlefields.

NPS announced today that $2.2 million in grants from the American Battlefield Protection Program will go toward protecting 169.03 acres of America’s Civil War battlefields.

National Park Service Protects Battlegrounds

This will include parts of the Mississippi Brices Cross Roads, Raymond, and Vicksburg battlefields.

“The Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant program, administered by the American Battlefield Protection Program, provides up to 50% in matching funds to state and local governments to acquire and preserve threatened American Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefield lands through fee-simple and permanent, protective interests acquisitions at eligible properties,” according to a press release from NPS.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History obtained 48.5 acres of land from the Brices Cross Roads Battlefield area. They also received 43.71 acres of the Raymond Battlefield and 32.3 acres of the Vicksburg Battlefield.

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources acquired 7.22 acres of the Bentonville Battlefield. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation acquired 8.5 acres of the Petersburg Battlefield. They also got 28.77 acres of the Williamsburg Battlefield.

Controversy Over Preserving Battleground

There is quite a bit of controversy when it comes to preserving southern Civil War memories. This includes things like monuments, statues, and battlegrounds. Recently, some state officials have been making the decision to tear down monuments and statues.

Otherwise, recent protesting has led to the removal of many of these statues. Some people claim keeping these up is a perpetuation of the racism and divide that was what led to the Civil War.

According to a National Geographic article, the Arthur Ashe statue may be the last one standing in Virginia’s capital soon. Many other statues are now toppled or being slated for removal.

“Pushed by a dizzying groundswell of opposition to long standing symbols of the Confederacy and white supremacy, numerous state and local governments, universities, corporations, and entertainers such as the Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum, have taken decisive steps to distance their names and brands from iconography of America’s racist past,” according to National Geographic.