Civil War’s Sesquicentennial

The Trust for Public Land has a long history of saving heritage lands across the country, many of which were sites of historic Civil War battles. During the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States, we'll be taking a look at some of the places we've saved for people to enjoy, to learn from, and to reflect upon this difficult chapter in our nation's history. We begin with a peek at four landmark projects.

A farm where history comes alive
For nearly three decades, Civil War History enthusiasts from across the nation have gathered on a farm in Georgia to re-enact the Battle of Resaca. When circumstances forced the land’s family owners to consider selling the land, TPL stepped in to help preserve the land for its historical heritage and productive use as a farm. Today, the future looks bright for the thousands of people who gather to relive history and remember.

 Morris Island
From embattled to hallowed ground
“The shifting sands of Morris Island reflect the changing times of our history,” noted Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley when TPL announced it had reached an agreement to buy the historic site. Some of the fiercest fighting of the Civil War took place in this small island that now keeps silent watch over Charleston. Today, its epic stories are kept alive through the efforts of the local community and others who fought to preserve the site where the North’s ill-fated 54th Massachusetts Infantry–an African-American regimen, fought with legendary bravery and valor, and where the South won a heroic final victory before its ultimate defeat.

Chickamauga National Military Park
A walk through Civil War history begins in Chattanooga, Gateway to the Deep South
Chickamauga Battlefield, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Moccasin Bend – the names resonate with those who know their American history well, and become vivid place memories for first-time visitors to the country’s first national military park, authorized in 1890. And while the land is venerable, it has not been entirely invulnerable to private development. TPL has helped acquire a number of in-holdings within, and add them to Chickamauga National Military Park, protecting scenic vistas, and priceless heritage.

Murphy Farm
A touchstone of African-American history
The 99-acre Murphy Farm on the banks of the Shenandoah River has witnessed more than its share of American history. On its sloping fields in 1862, Confederate General A. P. Hill forced the surrender of 12,000 Union troops, concluding General "Stonewall" Jackson's brilliant siege of nearby Harpers Ferry. Later, Murphy Farm was home to a famous brick firehouse that had become known as "John Brown's Fort" for its role in the abolitionist's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry that helped spark the Civil War. In 2002, The Trust for Public Land helped add the farm to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, preventing a planned 188-home subdivision from being built on the land.