American Battlefield Trust


Remembering Waxhaws: Defeat on the Road to Victory

239 years ago today, Banastre Tarleton with his British Legion and Dragoons caught up with Abraham Buford and a column of Patriots in a place called Waxhaws, on the border of North and South Carolina. There, a small but brutal battle would have a huge impact on the outcome of the American Revolution.On the heels of a British victory at Charleston, Tarleton’s force marched more than 105 miles in 54 hours in pursuit of Buford’s retreating troops. Buford had been on his way to reinforce Charleston but turned back when he learned that the six-week siege there had ended in Patriot surrender.Overtaking Buford by the afternoon of May 29, Tarleton sent Captain David Kinlock to demand Buford’s surrender. Tarleton’s message stated, “Resistance being vain, to prevent the effusion of human blood, I make offers which can never be repeated.” Buford is reported to have responded, “I reject your proposals, and shall defend myself to the last extremity.” Ordering his heavy baggage and weapons to continue moving northward, Buf

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Rise and Fight Again for Southern Revolutionary History

"We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again."– Major General Nathanael GreeneAs our work on the Liberty Trail gains momentum, it becomes higher priority to focus on battlefields that will make this virtual tour of Revolutionary history so meaningful.Southern Campaign battleground is often available at an incredible value.To put it plainly, many of the best-known battles of the American Revolution were fought in densely developed northeastern states where property is at a premium. While important battlefield land remains to be saved in these places, prices are high, and acreage is often very small.In the Southern Campaign, it is just the opposite. Not only are there hundreds or even thousands of acres of battlefield land still to be saved, but those acres are much more affordable, meaning your donation dollar will have an exponentially greater impact.Which brings me to the land at stake today. This excellent opportunity involves tracts in both Carolinas – one at Hanging Rock in South Carolina, the other at Guil

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Spark a Lifelong Love of History

A recent study concerning education in America asked participants to use one word to describe their experience in a history classroom. "Boring" was the single most frequent descriptor used by the respondents.If you are anything like us, you'll agree that the story of America is far from boring, and a strong classroom experience is fundamental to a lifelong love of history. Without history education, many of you would not have found the spark which ignited your passion for the past, and for battlefield preservation.So, how do we spark this same interest in the next generation of students? We do it by making history fun, relevant and engaging—and we start with the people who are educating our kids—teachers. If we can provide educators with innovative ways to teach this vital subject, they will have a dramatic impact in the classroom.For the past 19 years, the American Battlefield Trust has hosted our annual National Teacher Institute—a free event for K-12 educators, sponsored by members like you. At the Institu

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Remembering "Stonewall" Jackson: The Man and the Myth

156 years ago today, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson succumbed to pneumonia a week after leading his men in an audacious flank attack at the Battle of Chancellorsville. During that fateful battle, Jackson had been accidentally fired upon by his own men. After the amputation of his left arm, Jackson was transported 27 miles south to the rail depot at Guinea Station. After arriving at Guinea Station, Jackson and his staff were made aware that the tracks to Richmond had been torn up by the general's West Point roommate and Union cavalry commander George Stoneman. Jackson spent the last six days of his life in the office building of Thomas Coleman Chandler's sprawling plantation—Fairfield. At 3:15 on the afternoon of May 10, 1863, with his wife and members of his staff by his side, the 39-year-old Jackson uttered his final words. "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."Between his humble roots, battlefield glory, evocative nickname and untimely death, Jackson's mythical status as

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Save Hallowed Ground at Four Civil War Battlefields

I don't know if you prefer studying or visiting the battlefields in the East or the West — but today, we've got you covered either way.In the East, Reams Station and The Breakthrough at Petersburg, Virginia. In the West, Champion Hill in Mississippi and Jackson (or Salem Cemetery) in Tennessee.These 226 acres span four Civil War battlefields and are valued at $1,350,000 total. Fortunately, thanks to some amazing matching opportunities, we can save them all for $180,500, a $7.48-to-$1 multiplier of your generosity.That's the good news. The bad news is that each of these projects has a different closing date between now and the end of 2019, with the first of those dates only two months away — so we need to move quickly to save these properties.You can visit our website to learn the history of these four properties but allow me to whet your appetite with a few recurring themes. Supply lines. Devastatingly effective sieges. Triumph in the face of incredible odds. And Union General Ulysses S. Grant.These four trac

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Next Stop on the Liberty Trail: Victory at Hanging Rock

More great news about our endeavor to secure South Carolina's awesome and underappreciated Revolutionary history: thanks to you and your fellow Liberty Trailblazers, 18 acres at Hanging Rock will be forever preserved from development. These 18 acres include 15.5 acres from a Southern Campaign effort a couple of years back and an additional 2.4 acres from this year.Hanging Rock was an outpost established by the British during the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. As the site of a small but consequential Patriot victory on August 6, 1780, Hanging Rock is one of 16 primary battlefields selected for the first phase of the Liberty Trail, a mobile-based tour and driving route that will use cutting-edge technology to connect and tell the stories of the most important Revolutionary War battlefields of South Carolina.Please visit our website to learn more about the importance of the Battle of Hanging Rock to American independence and stay tuned for updates on how you can help shine a much-needed historical s

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Thank You for Making Park Day 2019 a Success

Thank you to all volunteers and historic sites that took part in the American Battlefield Trust’s 23rd Annual Park Day on Saturday, April 6 and the surrounding weekends! Over 160 battlefields and historic sites across 32 states and Washington, D.C. participated this year, including Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War sites.Keeping our historic sites preserved and pristine is truly a communal effort. This year, thanks to your efforts, nearly 7,000 volunteers across the country came out to lend a hand for history, donating over 25,000 hours of volunteer power to clean up efforts.At Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland, 75 volunteers, including local veterans and school groups, removed historically inaccurate fencing and helped with mulching, weeding, trash pick up and museum cleaning.At Historic Washington State Park in Arkansas, local Boy Scouts and community members transplanted flower bulbs, prepping two historic gardens and using the debris to fill a high erosion area.At Minute Man National Hi

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Commemorate Ulysses Grant’s Birthday by Giving a Grant to Save Battlefields

When Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on April 27th, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio, it's probably safe to assume his parents never dreamed their baby boy would one day be immortalized on the $50 bill. Yet a combination of Grant's personal traits and the mysterious hand of fate would carry this tanner's son all the way to the White House and even as far as this email I'm writing you today.There's just one problem with legends like Grant: it can be far too easy for other people's stories or opinions to distort how we see them these opinions and stories can eclipse the true person altogether. That's why to commemorate Grant's birthday, I bring you some of his own words, which can tell us as much about his character and worldview as any historian's analysis.He never gave up."Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, or to do anything, never to turn back or to stop until the thing intended was accomplished." (Unknown)"In every battle there comes a time when both sides c

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Join our Pickett’s Charge Generations Event at Gettysburg

On the afternoon of the third day of the battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered what became the most famous attack of the Civil War, known today as Pickett’s Charge.And almost 156 years later, I hope you can join us as we explore this monumental event at our upcoming “Generations” event on April 27th at and in partnership with the Gettysburg National Military Park.Share your passion for history with young people as we learn about what many call the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. We’ll learn how to march like soldiers of the past, stage a battle scenario, trace the footsteps of the men in Pickett’s Charge and discover the assault that ended General Lee’s great invasion of northern territory. Most kids will even get to don Civil War hats or coats!This event is free and open to all who brings someone under 20 with them but is geared towards youth aged 6-16. We invite you to bring your kids, grand-kids, neighbors, and friends to join us. If you have never attended a Generations event

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Join Us in Kentucky This Summer

Abraham Lincoln once said: "I think to lose Kentucky nearly the same as to lose the whole game."This unique border state was torn between Union and Confederate sentiment from the onset of the war. In an effort to keep the conflict outside state lines, Gov. Beriah Magoffin and the Kentucky legislature officially declared neutrality on May 16, 1861, avoiding the use of the state as a battlefield.However, with its split ideology and strategic location, it was difficult for the state to adhere to its policy.After Confederates seized Columbus and the Union took control of Paducah, the state government broke their neutrality and joined the Union. This relationship was far from perfect, and a shadow government formed as fellow Kentuckians broke off to fight for the Confederacy. Eventually, despite Gov. Magoffin's wishes, the Bluegrass State became a battleground.We invite you to explore the people, places and events that shaped the Bluegrass State during this storied time at our Annual Conference. From May 29-June 2

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145 Years Ago Today, Ulysses Grant Accepted his Last Surrender

154 years ago today, on April 9, 1865, "Unconditional Surrender" Grant sat down to draft a letter to Robert E. Lee. That letter, proposing generous terms of surrender to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, would signal the beginning of the end of the American Civil War.Grant went to great lengths to honor the commitments he made that day, at one point using his own fame and influence to stop an attempt to bring charges of treason against high-profile Confederates, including Lee. He walked a delicate line before, during and after his presidency to heal the fractures between the North and South while also supporting Reconstruction and civil rights. His travails and accomplishments would earn him international renown and a place on the U.S. $50 bill.In honor of this complex and fascinating American hero, this month we're asking history lovers to give a Grant (i.e. $50) to preserve hallowed ground. April is the month Grant was born and the month he accepted Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. It's a

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Save 73 Acres at Shiloh and South Mountain (and Get a New Book About Shiloh for Your Trouble!)

At the Trust, we work hard to make sure that every dollar you entrust to our cause goes as far as it possibly can. Sometimes, we have exceptional opportunities to do that. Today I'm writing to you about one of those exceptional opportunities. You see, if we can raise just $103,000 in the next 45 days, we can build on past successes at the Shiloh battlefield in Tennessee and the South Mountain battlefield in Maryland to save 73 additional key acres of endangered hallowed ground.Of course, this is not the actual cost of the land we're trying to save. In fact, if we had to pay its full value of $709,500, we'd have no choice but to walk away. Fortunately, thanks to generous homeowner donations and matching grants, every dollar we raise from supporters like you will be amplified to $6.89.Would you come away from Shiloh with the same appreciation for that battle if there was a housing development between the Hornet's Nest and Pittsburg Landing? How about if there was a complex of self-storage units marring South Mo

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Park Day is Next Saturday

Park Day is only one week away! Next Saturday, April 6, please visit a battlefield or historic site in your community to help keep our nation's most-storied places looking their best. It’s a fun and meaningful way to lend a hand and, in many cases, experience the places you helped save at Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War battlefields.This year, volunteers of all ages can get out of the house, give back, and honor our history at one of nearly 160 participating sites in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Park Day volunteers will help with projects such as planting flowers, raking leaves and maintaining interpretative signs and walking trails — and participants will receive a commemorative Park Day T-shirt (quantities may be limited). Many sites also offer complimentary tours or history talks after the work is complete, where you can hear about the unique role of their Park Day site in our national story.As an American Battlefield Trust supporter, you play an invaluable role in protecting these

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A Big Investment in American History: Saving Slaughter Pen Farm

If there's one thing my passion for history and battlefield preservation has taught me, it's that some things are worth fighting for. And when you make sacrifices for one of those things, you never regret it. That's how I feel about the Trust's purchase of 208 acres at the Slaughter Pen Farm on the Fredericksburg battlefield back in 2006.Zoned for industrial use, this farmland was described as "one of the best industrial sites" in Virginia when it went on the market in 2005. The land was priced at $12 million, money the Trust did not have. But we couldn't let this hallowed ground be destroyed.You see, this is the place where more than half the casualties of the entire Battle of Fredericksburg were inflicted in just a few bloody hours. While the lopsided assaults on the Sunken Road at Marye's Heights tend to get more attention, the fighting on the southern end of the battlefield is where the Confederates suffered the majority of their casualties and where no less than five Medals of Honor were awarded for hero

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And We’re Off! Liberty Trail Victories at Camden and Eutaw Springs

A devastating defeat. A Signal Victory. The battles at Camden and Eutaw Springs bookend a period of incredible consequence to the American Revolution. The Southern Campaign started as a British attempt to reinvigorate the war effort and culminated in Lord Charles Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown in October of 1781.Today, I'm so grateful to have you with us on a mission to preserve the hallowed grounds of this fateful series of battles. With these 308 acres 295 acres at Camden and 13 at Eutaw Springs we take an important first step toward our goal of preserving up to 2,500 acres of Revolutionary War battle land in South Carolina. As a supporter of the Trust, you should be proud of your role in securing this precious part of American history.But we can't rest on our laurels. Between the acres that remain unprotected and the innovative educational tools we're developing to tell the story of this pivotal chapter in the founding of our country, we've still got a long way to go.I truly can't thank you enough for

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