TENNESSEE WARS COMMISSION
The Tennessee Historical Commission and Tennessee Wars Commission on Tuesday announced that they have awarded nearly $2.5 million dollars in grant funding to the American Battlefield Trust to preserve more than 180 acres of Civil War battlefield land in five counties through the Tennessee Civil War Sites Preservation Fund (TCWSPF).
This represents both the largest amount of grant funding for Civil War battlefield preservation and the largest amount of acreage preserved in the history of the TCWSPF.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for historic preservation in Tennessee that will also protect open space, farms, and wildlife habitats,” noted Patrick McIntyre, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. Funding will match American Battlefield Protection Program funding and will help preserve land associated with the battles of Stones River, Jackson, Chattanooga, Franklin, and Shiloh.
The Shiloh and Franklin grants will add land to areas previously preserved, including $40,000 for a 1.5 acre tract along Lewisburg Pike in Franklin adjacent to the historic Collins Farm, and $23,260 for an 8 acre tract at the south portion of the core battlefield at Shiloh.
“The battlefield lands acquired by these grant funds will be crucial for interpreting the story of the Civil War for generations to come,” stated Tennessee Wars Commission Director of Programs Tim Hyder.
A key grant provides $1,827,502 for the acquisition of 42 acres of the Stones River Battlefield, formerly the O’Reilly AutoParts distribution center, which represents one of the largest land acquisitions at the site since the National Battlefield was designated in 1960. $367,836 will be granted for 120 acres of the Jackson, or Salem Cemetery, battlefield which will permanently protect over one quarter of the entire core battlefield, including the area surrounding the cemetery which gave the December 19, 1862 battle its name. $231,737 will preserve a 9 acre portion of the 1863 Wauhatchie battlefield in Chattanooga which is important as it will also preserve Brown’s Tavern, a 212 year-old structure used during the Trail of Tears and owned by John Brown, a Cherokee man who received special dispensation from the U.S. government to avoid removal.
The TCWSPF grant program, begun in 2013, is funded through a portion of growth funds in the Real Estate Transfer Tax. It has proven to be a critical source of matching state funding for the Federal American Battlefield Protection Program, which is available for the preservation of properties associated with the 38 most significant Civil War sites in Tennessee. Additionally, grants can assist in funding the acquisition and protection of Underground Railroad sites eligible for the National Register of Historic
Places or eligible for designation as a National Historic Landmark.