WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) announced that the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) has been awarded a $668,926 grant to ensure the preservation of property associated with the Civil War battlefield at Champion Hill in Hinds County.
The National Park Service (NPS) awarded the grant through its American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP). The battlefield land acquisition, cost-share grant is intended to allow the MDAH to partner with the nonprofit Civil War Trust to purchase nearly 316 acres of property deemed significant to the long-term preservation of the Champion Hill battlefield site.
“The battle to control Vicksburg was pivotal, and the fight at Champion Hill makes it an important site in the history of our state and our country,” said Cochran. “I’m pleased the National Park Service is making funding available to better preserve this historic landmark.”
Cochran, who serves as a senior member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the NPS, authored the 2014 law to expand the Vicksburg National Military Park by authorizing the NPS to acquire approximately 10,000 acres of property deemed significant to the long-term preservation of the Champion Hill, Port Gibson and Raymond battlefields.
The Battle of Champion Hill on May 16, 1863, was the largest and most significant fight in the clash for control of Vicksburg and the Mississippi River.
According to the NPS, the 315.89 acres is within the ABPP Core and Study Area boundaries of Champion Hill Battlefield and a western portion of the tract is located within boundaries of the Champion Hill Battlefield National Historic Landmark. The purchase would allow the Civil War Trust to place this acreage under easement with the MDAH and facilitate landscape rehabilitation to allow better public access and interpretation of the Champion Hill Battlefield.
The Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program, administered as part of the National Parks Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to assist non-Federal efforts to acquire and preserve battlefield lands outside of the legislative boundaries of National Park units.