Support battlefield preservation

The American Press

Scattered around the nation are parcels of land that are tangible reminders of some of America’s most heroic, but tragic history — battlefields.

These battlefields span most of United States history, from Brandywine, Pa., in the Revolutionary War, to Chalmette battlefield near New Orleans, a major American victory in the War of 1812.

Such names as Bull Run, Manassas, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, the Wilderness, Vicksburg and many others tell the tragic story of our own War Between the States.

Much of the story has been lost and forgotten because the battlefields have been lost to the growth and urban sprawl of modern America. But it’s not too late to save a lot of our “hallowed ground” that is such an important part of our history.

Bipartisan legislation is now in progress that can save some of our most precious historical legacy, including Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War sites.

The bills are to support the federal Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants program, which remains one of the most successful historic land preservation tools in American history. This matching grant program has been used to preserve more than 30,000 acres of battlefield land across the U.S., including such battlefields as Mansfield and Port Hudson, right here in Louisiana.

The bills in Congress are the reauthorization for the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program, which in the U.S. Senate is S.3505 and was introduced on a bipartisan basis by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

The bill funds the program up to $20 million a year and includes provisions to enable nonprofit groups like the American Battlefield Trust to restore and interpret battlefield sites.

A similar bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jody Hice and has received widespread bipartisan support.

If you love American history and want to see its battlefields preserved and properly interpreted, you can contact Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy and ask them to support S.3505.

More information about battlefield preservation is available at the American Battlefield Trust website at www.battlefields.org.””Battlefield Preservation

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