Civil War Battlefield Conservation: Maryland
Harpers Ferry. Photo by Beverly Vealach/Flickr
At the Fund, we believe America’s history is found in our landscapes. By conserving significant landscapes, we can ensure our nation’s history will be preserved for future generations.
How better to honor the fallen and appreciate the battles of the Civil War than to stand on the ground where the fighting took place? The Fund has, with its partners, protected more than 9,400 acres of historic lands through 83 projects in 14 states.
The Spur Battery, on a descending “spur” in the Maryland area of the park, overlooks the Potomac River and the town of Harpers Ferry. The heavy artillery battery located within these 23 acres was an important defense for Harpers Ferry. Overlooking the Federal Armory and Arsenal, this battery commanded all of the northwest approaches to the town.
Thanks to a nationwide partnership that included the Gilder Foundation, Meryl and Andrew Steigman, the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Nau, III and the Civil War Preservation Trust, these 23 acres, which include the Spur Battery, were donated to the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
We’re proud to have been part of the expansion of the Antietam Battlefield, protecting lands within the National Historic Site as well as lands surrounding it. Learn more >>
Monocacy National Battlefield
The 1864 Battle of Monocacy helped save the nation’s capital from Confederate invasion. After the battle, the Union Army used the Thomas farm—part of the Monocacy National Battlefield site—to rest and reorganize.
The Fund, in partnership with the National Park Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, completed protection of the battlefield by purchasing a conservation easement on the farm. The Maryland Environmental Trust will manage the easement.
Working in partnership with the state of Maryland in 2001, the Fund negotiated the purchase of conservation easements over four parcels, a total of 53 acres, on the South Mountain Battlefield. This location marked the area where, on September 14, 1862, the Confederates’ effectively defended on the mountain—in essentially three separate battles—and kept open their line of retreat until they were protected by darkness. The armies then moved toward Antietam.
In 2004, in partnership with the state of Maryland and the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Fund protected an additional 26 acres on the battlefield, the site of McClellan’s headquarters and 10 acres which include a historic house used as a field hospital.