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National Park Service awards $1 million to protect historic battlefields in Arkansas, Louisiana and South Carolina

By: National Park Service

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) today awarded $1,002,112.35 in Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants to the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism; Louisiana State Parks and Recreation Commission; and Kershaw County, South Carolina. The awards protect nearly 65 acres of American Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields and are made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which reinvests revenue from offshore oil and natural gas leasing to help strengthen conservation and recreation opportunities across the nation.
“These grants to state and local governments represent an important investment in public-private conservation efforts across America,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “They support partnership efforts that thoughtfully consider the needs, concerns, and priorities of communities inextricably connected to these unique places and stories.” 
With grant assistance, Arkansas State Parks will complete a multi-phase project to protect the natural, cultural, and historic resources of Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. Acquisition of a 27-acre tract from the family who has stewarded the property since before the Civil War ensures access to open green space and to the land’s rich stories for generations to come. The skirmish between Union and Confederate forces here on the frosty Sunday morning of December 7, 1862, marked the culmination of the Union Army’s drive to wrest control of northwest Arkansas from Confederate forces. By day’s end, the destructive fire of Federal artillery drove Confederates back under the cover of darkness. Both sides suffered similar casualties, but this tactical draw represented a strategic and enduring Union victory in the area for the remainder of the war. The battle’s end was likely cold comfort for the soldiers of both armies: Confederates had to leave many of their dead while Union forces on the field of victory endured freezing temperatures without enough tents or blankets. The landscape resounded with human suffering: decades earlier, Cherokee peoples tread a Trail of Tears in forced removal from their ancestral lands by order of the US government. Now these protected lands invite all to recall the past and to plan for a shared future of renewal.
NPS ABPP’s Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants empower preservation partners nationwide to acquire and preserve threatened battlefields on American soil. In addition, the program administers three other grant programs: Preservation Planning, Battlefield Interpretation and Battlefield Restoration Grants. Financial and technical assistance support sustainable, community-driven stewardship of natural and historic resources at the state, tribal and local levels.
Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants are available on a rolling basis. To learn more about how to apply, head to NPS ABPP’s website. For questions about NPS ABPP’s grants, contact the program at abpp@nps.gov
Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Recipients:
Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism Prairie Grove Battlefield 27 acres$230,000.00 Louisiana State Parks and Recreation Commission Mansfield Battlefield 19.42 acres$47,303.00
Louisiana State Parks and Recreation Commission Port Hudson Battlefield 2.57 acres$43,296.85  Kershaw County, South Carolina Hobkirk Hill Battlefield 15.79 acres$681,512.50

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