Americans for Battlefield Preservation

Americans for Battlefield Preservation Americans for Battlefield Preservation is a 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to historic battlefield preservation in the United States.
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#OnThisDay in 1812, The United States formally declared war, for the first time in the nation’s history, against Great B...
06/18/2021
The War of 1812: The War of 1812 in Four Minutes

#OnThisDay in 1812, The United States formally declared war, for the first time in the nation’s history, against Great Britain. The British were already waging a global war against France, one which had been raging since 1793. Since their war had broken out, Britain and France had both tried to restrict international trade. The United States was put in an awkward position, unable to trade with either world power without incurring the wrath of the other. Then the British began impressing, or seizing American sailors at sea. Citizens in the Northeast opposed going to war, but many others were enthusiastic about the nation's "Second War of Independence" from British oppression. Battles raged on the high seas. British soldiers invaded American soil, captured Washington D.C., and even burned the White House. Still, in the end, the Star-Spangled Banner waved “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Kris White of the American Battlefield Trust gives a full overview of the War of 1812. More so than other wars in American history, the War of 1812 is often ...

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: SaratogaThe Battle of Saratoga was a turning point in the Revolutionary War. The Amer...
06/16/2021
Saratoga Battlefield

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Saratoga

The Battle of Saratoga was a turning point in the Revolutionary War. The American defeat of the superior British army lifted patriot morale, furthered the hope for independence, and helped to secure the foreign support needed to win the war.

In 1777, British strategy called for a three-pronged attack on New York, with three separate armies converging near Albany. For British general John Burgoyne, moving south from Canada with 7,500 men, the Hudson River Valley became the critical route for the invasion. After a contingent of Burgoyne’s troops was defeated in the Battle of Bennington, his reduced forces marched south toward Saratoga in early September. General Horatio Gates and his American soldiers had built formidable defenses on Bemis Heights, just south of Saratoga overlooking the Hudson. The two armies engaged in combat at Freeman’s Farm on September 19. While the British held off the Americans, their losses were great. Burgoyne’s battered forces dug trenches and waited for reinforcements, but none came. Burgoyne launched a second, unsuccessful attack on the Americans at Bemis Heights on October 7. With no means of escape, Burgoyne eventually surrendered to Gates on October 17. The victory persuaded France to sign a treaty with the United States against Britain. France’s financial and military support contributed to Washington’s victory at Yorktown in 1781, which effectively ended America’s War for Independence.

Nearly 250 years later, Saratoga National Historic Park serves as a nexus for revolutionary history and culture in the southern Adirondack region. The historic Victory Woods guides visitors through the British Army’s failed retreat and surrender. Atop the 155-foot Saratoga Monuments, visitors are entreated to a 360-degree view of the Hudson River Valley. Adventurers may take advantage of the park’s hiking and biking trails or even participate in the “Saratoga NHP 100 Mile Challenge”. With so much to explore, the park’s 10-stop driving tour and abridged 4-stop tour create convenient itineraries for eager visitors.

One of the most decisive American victories in the entire Revolutionary War, the Battle of Saratoga ended British General John Burgoyne's attempt to control the...

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: ShilohThe Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, allowed Un...
06/11/2021
Shiloh Battlefield

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Shiloh

The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, allowed Union troops to pe*****te the Confederate interior. The carnage was unprecedented, with the human toll being the greatest of any war on the American continent up to that date. After the Union victories at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in February 1862, Confederate general Johnston withdrew from Kentucky and left much of the western and middle of Tennessee to the Union. This permitted Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to push his troops toward Corinth, Mississippi, the strategic intersection of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and a vital troop and supply conduit for the South. Alerted to the Union army’s position, Johnston intercepted the troops 22 miles northeast of Corinth at Pittsburg Landing. The encounter proved devastating—not only for its tactical failure but for the extreme number of casualties. After Shiloh, both sides realized the magnitude of the conflict, which would be longer and bloodier than they could have imagined.

Today, the 4,200- acre Shiloh National Military Park is one of the best-preserved Civil War battlefields anywhere, with 156 monuments, 217 cannons and more than 650 interpretive markers. Highlights include The Hornet's Nest where Union forces fought tenaciously to hold back waves of Confederate attacks and Shiloh National Cemetery which honors nearly 4,000 fallen soldiers and their families. Inside, the Shiloh Battlefield Visitors Center showcases the award-winning film “Shiloh: Fiery Trial.” Use the American Battlefield Trust's "Shiloh Battle App" along the way for even more context!

Shiloh is one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields anywhere. Within the nearly 4,000-acre Shiloh National Military Park you can visit historic sites...

In its most recent victory, The American Battlefield Trust has saved 72 acres at the Brandywine Battlefield in Delaware ...
06/08/2021
Brandywine Battlefield Property Purchased for Conservation

In its most recent victory, The American Battlefield Trust has saved 72 acres at the Brandywine Battlefield in Delaware County, PA.

On the morning of September 11, 1777, George Washington posted 14,000 troops of the Continental Army along the banks of the site, believing that he had securely covered all possible fords. This turned out not to be the case, and 15,500 British troops under General William Howe advanced under the cover of a heavy fog, demonstrating to Washington's front while moving troops around to attack his exposed right flank. General Nathanael Greene’s men counterattacked, but ultimately the Continental Army was forced to retreat, leaving the path open for the British Army to occupy Philadelphia. Originally considered for development, the property’s historic significance will be forever preserved, and the North American Land Trust plans to create opportunities for passive public recreation and education for the community.

(Chadds Ford, Pa.) – As of March 25, 2021, North American Land Trust (NALT) has acquired a historic Brandywine Battlefield property — located on Oakland Road in...

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Fort PulaskiFort Pulaski, built between 1829 and 1847, was placed near the mouth of t...
06/04/2021
Fort Pulaski

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski, built between 1829 and 1847, was placed near the mouth of the Savannah River to block upriver access to the city. Brick and masonry fortifications such as Pulaski, called "third system" forts, were considered invincible, but the new technology of rifled artillery would soon change that. To shut down blockade running traffic from coastal Georgia and South Carolina, the Union army and navy mounted an expedition in November, 1861 to occupy the land area surrounding Savannah. Tybee Island, opposite Fort Pulaski, was occupied in late November, and other coastal areas nearby over the next three months. On February 19, 1862, Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Sherman ordered Captain Quincy A. Gillmore, an engineer officer, to take charge of a siege force and to plan for a bombardment and capture of the fort. Gillmore placed artillery on Tybee Island southeast of the fort and began the bombardment on April 10th after the garrison commander, Colonel Charles H. Olmstead refused to surrender. Within hours, Gillmore’s rifled artillery had breached the southeast scarp of the fort, and he continued to exploit it. Some of his shells began to damage the traverse shielding the magazine in the northwest bastion. Realizing that if the magazine exploded the fort would be seriously damaged and the garrison would suffer severe casualties, Olmstead surrendered on April 11th. The bombardment and siege was a landmark experiment in the history of military science and invention.

Today, Fort Pulaski stands tall on Cockspur Island between Savannah and Tybee Island. Artillery displays and soldier barracks are inside the fort, and outside are a bookstore, visitor center and several walking trails, to appease history-buffs and nature lovers alike.

The American Battlefield Trust battlefield page for Fort Pulaski, Georgia. Maps, history articles, photos, and other helpful links.

#OnThisDay June 2nd, the British Parliament passed the Quartering Act of 1774.Following the infamous Boston Tea Party, t...
06/02/2021
The Quartering Act

#OnThisDay June 2nd, the British Parliament passed the Quartering Act of 1774.

Following the infamous Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed four acts known as the Coercive Acts. The first three acts closed the port of Boston, took away Massachusetts’ ability to self-govern, and removed their ability to administer justice to British soldiers in the colony. The last act passed was the Quartering Act of 1774, which applied not just to Massachusetts but to all the American colonies, and was only slightly different than the Quartering Act of 1765. This new act allowed royal governors, rather than colonial legislatures, to find homes and buildings to quarter or house British soldiers.

As it had been an ongoing debate in colonial British America, the 1774 act sought to clarify and expand the British ability to quarter troops in American cities. It stated upfront that “doubts have been entertained whether troops can be quartered otherwise than in barracks,” and the Royal governor had the right to use “uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings” to quarter soldiers. While “other buildings” could be open to broad interpretation, contrary to popular belief, the 1774 act (like the 1765 act) did not mandate that British soldiers stay in the occupied private homes of American colonists. In fact, it specifically prohibited it. Regardless, the American colonists were enraged by the Quartering Act along with the other Coercive Acts, and they were quickly rebranded “The Intolerable Acts.”

Perhaps none of the punitive acts passed by the British parliament to quell the rebellious activities occurring in the colonies during the buildup to the...

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Princeton BattlefieldAfter crossing the Delaware on December 25, 1776, George Washing...
05/28/2021
Princeton Battlefield

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Princeton Battlefield

After crossing the Delaware on December 25, 1776, George Washington snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and changed the course of the war.

The Battle of Princeton was a classic meeting engagement, both sides stumbled into one another, and neither expected to fight on the ground where the battle raged. When the American's spotted British troopers around William Clarke's farm, Washington detached Hugh Mercer's brigade to investigate. Mercer ran headlong into the 17th Foot, firmly stationed behind a fence at the end of Clarke's orchard. In the ensuing volleys, Mercer was wounded and his men routed by a bayonet charge. With the outnumbered British on the verge of splitting his army, Washington quickly detached John Cadwalader's Philadelphia Associatiors to plug the gap. These troops fought valiantly, but were also broken by British bayonets. With the battle, and the war, hanging in the balance, Washington personally led fresh troops onto the field while grapeshot and canister from Joseph Moulder's artillery battery forced the British back towards William Clarke's farmhouse. Washington's counterattack broke the British line, which quickly turned into a rout.

Nearly 250 years later Princeton Battlefield immortalizes the 10 day campaign with educational resources, monuments and more. The site includes the historic Mercer Oak, where Mercer is thought to have rested after being wounded and the Clarke House, where his injuries were treated. For adventurers, Princeton Battlefield is home to hiking trails as well as cross-country skiing trails leading to the Delaware and Raritan Canal.

Princeton Battlefield State Park, just a mile southwest of Princeton University, maintains and interprets the scene of George Washington's 1777 victory. The...

Have you seen this great program put on by the American Battlefield Trust? The Trust's second annual Virtual Teacher Ins...
05/25/2021
Virtual Teacher Institute 2021

Have you seen this great program put on by the American Battlefield Trust?

The Trust's second annual Virtual Teacher Institute will conveniently bring the Trust’s many experts and speakers to screens near and far. Modeled on elements from past on-site Teacher Institutes, this online event will feature workshops, lectures, and moderated discussions that run the gamut and leave attendees considering America’s formative struggles from a wide range of perspectives, both popular and under-told. And this year there are more than double the number of sessions offered.

The Virtual Teacher Institute is set to take place July 12–16, 2021. By attending, educators can apply for a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) certificate — provided by the American Battlefield Trust — at the conclusion of the event. Attendees will be required to register for each online session they wish to attend and must attend a minimum of eight live sessions to qualify for a CEU certificate.

"Login and Learn" at the 2021 American Battlefield Trust Virtual Teacher Institute Popular sessions include: Using Ancestry, Fold3 and Newspapers.com...

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Fort Blakeley— the last major battle of the Civil War.After the Atlanta and Georgia C...
05/21/2021
Fort Blakely Battlefield

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Fort Blakeley— the last major battle of the Civil War.

After the Atlanta and Georgia Campaigns of late 1864, Union commanders looked to the remaining Confederate forces in the deep south, including those defending Mobile, Alabama. In the last week of March, 1865, the Union XVI and XIII corps under Maj. Gen. Edward R. S. Canby moved north along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay toward Confederate defenders at Spanish Fort, arriving there March 27. Brig. Gen. St. John R. Liddell, with about 3,000 men supported by gunboats, held out against the much larger Union force until Spanish Fort fell on April 8, allowing Canby to concentrate 16,000 men for the attack on nearby Fort Blakeley the next day. After a brief fight, Union troops breached the Confederate earthworks compelling the defenders to surrender. Around 5,000 African-American forces played a major role in the successful Union assault. The capture of Fort Blakeley was the last combined-force battle of the war, fought the same day Robert E. Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox.

Today, Historic Blakeley State Park preserves several miles of unspoiled Confederate and Union fortifications. For non-history buffs, the park offers miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. On the water, the park’s Delta Explorer showcases the Mobile-Tensaw Delta’s rich biodiversity and naval history. To fully experience Blakeley State Park, visitors are welcome to stay overnight in one of the parks many campgrounds or rent a fully furnished cabin.

Today, Historic Blakely State Park in Baldwin County preserves several miles of breastworks and fortifications, and several trails and monuments at the site of...

The American Battlefield Trust celebrates its first-ever Victory Week with a diverse round-up of recent preservation vic...
05/18/2021
Victory Week 2021

The American Battlefield Trust celebrates its first-ever Victory Week with a diverse round-up of recent preservation victories across ten battlefields in six states encompassing roughly 633 acres. This mighty acreage represents two Revolutionary War battlefields, three Virginia battlefields from the Civil War’s Eastern Theater, and five battlefields from the Civil War’s Western Theater.

When the Trust announces “victory,” the term encompasses a series of actions that were taken to save sacred battlefield acreage. From the research underwent to identify the particular historic actions that took place on the land at hand, to the determination of legal underpinnings and negotiations with landowners, to consultation with local groups and decision-makers, to the efforts made to find funding partners and gather support from other pivotal donors, the organization is thorough and attentive throughout each step in the process.

Celebrating 633 Acres Saved across Ten Battlefields! When the American Battlefield Trust announces “victory,” the term encompasses a series of actions that...

05/14/2021
Fort Davidson Battlefield

This week’s #BattlefieldSpotlight: Fort Davidson

Facing defeats in the late summer of 1864, the Confederacy desperately sought victories in hopes of persuading the war-weary Union population to vote against the reelection of Abraham Lincoln that November. That September, the 12,000-man Confederate Army of Missouri under Maj. Gen. Sterling Price moved north with the goal of capturing St. Louis. Eighty miles south of the city, Price encountered Fort Davidson near the town of Ironton, defended by 1,500 men under Union Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing.

On the morning of September 26, the Confederates attacked, driving Federal pickets back into the fort from the streets of Ironton. The next morning, Price made plans to use his superior numbers to surround the fort and assault it from multiple directions. The Confederates attacked that afternoon, assaulting the fort repeatedly, inflicting heavy casualties. Confederate guns on high ground outside the fort also took their toll on the defenders. The multiple attacks were not coordinated, however, giving Ewing's men time to redirect their fire. During the night, the Union stealthily evacuated the fort, blowing up the powder magazine as they departed. Price, who lost 10 percent of his men, declined to pursue Ewing. He turned his army westward, ultimately meeting defeat at Westport outside of Kansas City the next month, ending his Missouri campaign.

Today, Pilot K**b State Historic Site preserves Fort Davidson’s open, grassy fields and includes the fort’s old earthworks, two Confederate burial trenches, and a visitor center with a narrated story of the battle and its context within Arcadia Valley and the Civil War. Outside, visitors can enjoy the site’s playground, picnic area and hiking trail.

Located in the town of Pilot K**b, the Battle of Pilot K**b State Historic Site preserves and interprets Fort Davidson. The site’s open, grassy fields include...

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