On Thursday, March 3, 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the National Park Service has awarded nearly $2.7 million for projects to protect nine Civil War battlefields located in seven Virginia counties.
According to the Governor’s press release, the federal funding was awarded as follows (in order of the amount of funding per battlefield):
- $1,225,670.00 was awarded to a project at the Fredericksburg Battlefield in Spotsylvania County;
- $357,900.00 was awarded to a project at the Kernstown I Battlefield in Frederick County;
- $264,818.50 was awarded to three projects at the Opequon Battlefield in Frederick County;
- $221,997.50 was awarded to a project at the Brandy Station Battlefield in Culpeper County;
- $212,084.00 was awarded to two projects at the Sailor’s Creek (or Sayler’s Creek) Battlefield in Amelia County;
- $128,643.75 was awarded to a project at the Gaines Mill Battlefield in Hanover County;
- $128,388.75 was awarded to two projects at the Appomattox Court House Battlefield in Appomattox County;
- $71,380.00 was awarded to a project at the Glendale Battlefield in Henrico County; and
- $68,800.00 was awarded to a project at the Deep Bottom Battlefield II in Henrico County.
All in all, $2,679,682.50 in federal funding was awarded to preserve Virginia battlefields. The funding will consist of Civil War Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These grants are administered by the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, which is a program designed to preserve significant historic battlefields on American soil. These grants are matching grants and must be matched dollar for dollar from non-federal sources.
In the press release, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward emphasized that these grants will protect more than merely historical sites; these battlefields also include “wetlands, forests, open-space landscapes, and other habitats prized by humans and animals alike” that these grants will help to preserve.
The projects being funded will be completed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) in cooperation with the Civil War Trust and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
The National Park Service also announced grants benefiting eight battlefields located in six other states in this round of funding. However, the majority of the funding will go to battlefields located in Virginia.
The American Battlefield Protection Program was first authorized by Congress in the American Battlefield Protection Act of 1996.