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Grant to secure Civil War lands for state archives and history

courtesy U.S. Department of the Interior

A $7.2 million donation will grant the ability for battlefield land across the country to be preserved.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said of that $7.2 million, part was provided as a donation of President Donald Trump’s first quarter salary to the National Park Service, while the rest was a collection of other donations that came in from various resources.

The $7.2 million will preserve nearly 1,200 acres of battlefield land as part of the American Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants program. The grant projects are located at 19 battlefields threatened with damage or destruction by urban and suburban development in Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“These lands were once the scenes of our nation’s bloodiest conflicts,” Zinke said. “Working with the state and local communities, historians, and advocates, we must preserve these battlefields for future generations of Americans to remember and understand the impact of sacrifices of those who fought on these hallowed grounds. This grant program, along with President Trump’s donation will help ensure just that.”

Grants are awarded to units of state and local governments for the fee-simple acquisition of land, or for the non-federal acquisition of permanent, protective interests in land (easements). Private non-profit groups may apply in partnership with state or local government sponsors.

The Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant will allow for 93 acres surrounding Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield just outside of Baldwyn, Mississippi, to be taken and preserved by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The grant for the state amounts to $263,212.50.

According to the Civil War Trust, the Battle at Brice’s Crossroads was a Confederate Victory in June of 1864. It was there than Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest thwarted the plans of the Union Army to move supplies to Atlanta to oppose the Confederacy. 12,000 troops fought during this battle, with the confederates outnumbered by 5,000. Still, the Union army was forced to retreat from Brice’s, and the Confederates claimed the victory. Of the 12,000 that fought, the Union lost 2,610 men, while the Confederacy lost 495.

Click here to read about the other grants that will preserve battlefields across the country.

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