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Gettysburg Again Among Most Endangered Sites

Battlefields in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi are in the top 10 most endangered in the country, according to the Civil War Preservation Trust which released the names at a press conference at 10 a.m. this morning.

Although being named most endangered might be considered a negative, it actually is embraced by the various sites because the Trust has a proven ability to bring media attention to what are often little known sites or unrecognized threats. A place on the annual list also means the Trust will most likely help raise huge amounts of money in an effort to rescue a battlefield.

Gettysburg, the best known of the country's battlefields, has often been on the Trust's list and each time the threat has either been removed or reduced.

The Trust does not rank the list; the threat follows the name of each site:

Gettysburg, Pa: expanding commercial development including hotels.

Wilderness, Va: proposed Wal-Mart super center.

New Market Heights, Va: none of the land is protected by any preservation group.

Cedar Creek, Va:
approval of expanded limestone mining operations.

Monocacy, Md: proposed trash facility.

South Mountain, Md: proposed construction of natural gas compression plant.

Sabine, Texas: damage from two hurricanes and lack of state money for repair

Fort Gaines, Al: land erosion by Gulf of Mexico

Spring Hill, Tn: commercial development

Port Gibson, Ms: proposed road widening through center of the town

The Trust built a handy map of the sites (viewing is easier here):

View Larger Map

The Trust, headquartered in Washington, is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the country with 60,000 members. It has helped to protect more than 25,000 acres of battlefield land at close to 100 sites in 19 states.

By Linda Wheeler  |  March 18, 2009; 10:02 AM ET
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Gettysburg National Military Park has done a great job in upgrading their historic park. They have some sprawl around the park, but the NPS should have bought up that land to preserve it if they chose to to do it, but did not. Therefore, the 8000 residents who live in the town should have some of th modern convenience and have a good tourism network which makes a lot of jobs for the locals!

Posted by: bobby12320007 | March 18, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The National Park Service has done a terrible job with regards to the National Park at Gettysburg. The NPS clear cut tress to take you back to the "way it was" at the time of the battle. Problem is that now you get a wonderful view of tract houses and other "modern" landscapes. As a frequent traveler to Gettysburg it was a much more realistic and awe inducing environment to have the monuments with the trees surrounding. A large number of the residents were alienated over the entire process and the person in charge totally ignored their pleas.

Posted by: lisanelson | March 18, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

There's currently a proposal to build a large trash incinerator next to the Monocacy Battlefield, right on 355, right near the Monocacy River. Not too-respectful a move for the site of The Battle That Saved Washington. While there are some on the Frederick County Council who are opposed to the incinerator, others on the Council claim there is no other option for the County's trash problem. If this truly is the case though, couldn't a more appropriate site be found? Somewhere industrial perhaps?

Posted by: jmcclain1 | March 18, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

It's the Battlefields in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and WV we should be worried about. Monocacy and Gettysburg are especially important. Who cares about the ones in the South? The Confederacy is dead; the South lost. We shouldn't be preserving their history.

Posted by: terp4life1 | March 18, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Civil War tourism and the Lincoln Bicentennial are vital to this area. Linda Wheeler keeps us in touch in a way not available elsewhere

I still mourn her disappearance from print and paper, but her excellent blog is far better than no Linda.

Posted by: civilwarjustice | March 19, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

It's great to have Linda Wheeler keeping us informed on these important issues.

Posted by: ewingal | March 20, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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