National Park Service Awards Over $1 Million to Protect Historic Southern Battlefields

by Amy Myers

Earlier this week, the National Park Service (NPS) dedicated much of its resources to protecting and preserving our historic battlefields. The Service has once again awarded well-deserved funding to several southern battlefields in need of some help.

As a part of the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), the NPS has dolled out $1 million to four battlefields. According to the official release, the awards protect nearly 65 acres of American Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields. The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which reinvests revenue from offshore oil and natural gas leasing, made the awards possible. Now, the NPS is able to continue its conservation efforts for important historical and recreational sites.

“These grants to state and local governments represent an important investment in public-private conservation efforts across America,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “They support partnership efforts that thoughtfully consider the needs, concerns, and priorities of communities inextricably connected to these unique places and stories.”

Here are the battlefields that have received new funding:

  • Prairie Grove Battlefield, AK
  • Mansfield Battlefield, LA
  • Port Hudson Battlefield, LA
  • Hobkirk Hill Battlefield, SC

National Park Service Funding Helps Protect the Harrowing Stories of Prairie Grove Battlefield

The tales of our nation’s battlefields tend to include a lot of tragedy and hard times, but the NPS recognizes that with these sad stories comes a reminder of how much our nation has changed in just a few short centuries. One of these educational and inspiring landmarks is the Prairie Grove Battlefield in Washington County, Arkansas. During the late 1800s, the Confederate and Union armies faced off for control of the northwest region of the state. This was the last time during the Civil War that both armies stood with equal strength. As a result, on December 7, 1862, the Union Army declared victory.

With the latest funds from the National Park Service, the state will execute a few improvements to the battlefield.

“With grant assistance, Arkansas State Parks will complete a multi-phase project to protect the natural, cultural, and historic resources of Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park,” the release stated. “Acquisition of a 27-acre tract from the family who has stewarded the property since before the Civil War ensures access to open green space and to the land’s rich stories for generations to come.”

Along with the battles, the National Park Service hopes to honor past peoples who have suffered.

“The landscape resounded with human suffering: decades earlier, Cherokee peoples tread a Trail of Tears in forced removal from their ancestral lands by order of the US government,” the NPS continued. “Now these protected lands invite all to recall the past and to plan for a shared future of renewal.”