Preserving History

The Conservation Fund has had a significant impact in the development of Antietam National Battlefield, having protected several hundred acres through a variety of projects.

On behalf of the National Park Service, The Conservation Fund acquired Grove Farm, the site where President Lincoln met with U.S. generals after the battle of Antietam. We were able to add this land to Antietam National Battlefield in partnership with the State of Maryland and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.

The 200-acre Roulette/Callas farm, just outside Antietam National Battlefield, was the site of the Confederate advance on the morning of the battle and the Confederate line at the end of the day-long battle. More than 10,000 U.S. troops advanced across Roulette Farm in such intense fighting that this route became known as Bloody Lane. This is now protected with an easement held by the Maryland Environmental Trust. We helped establish the easement in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Open Space Program, the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program and the Civil War Preservation Trust.

We’ve also assisted the Richard King Mellon Foundation in a number of conservation gifts at Antietam National Battlefield, including the Cornfield, the site where the Federals were hit by Confederate artillery fire, and the West Woods, where U.S. forces suffered more than 2,200 casualties in 20 minutes. On the 135th anniversary of the battle, we assisted with the donation of 12 acres at Bloody Lane, in the field of fire where J.E.B. Stuart’s artillery slowed the attaching U.S. troops.

Why This Project Matters

There are a total of 384 principal Civil War battlefields in the U.S., designated by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission in 1993. The condition of these battlefields is alarming: more than 220 of them are not protected. Of the 162 that have protection, some are large enough to honor the soldiers and to enable visitors to understand the battle—others are too small or fragmented. Through our Civil War Battlefield Program, we’ve been able to protect land at 83 battlefields in 14 states.

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