Save 42 Vital Acres at Two Key Civil War Western Theater Battlefields | American Battlefield Trust
Brices Cross Roads
Mike Talplacido

Save 42 Vital Acres at Two Key Civil War Western Theater Battlefields

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Your help is needed to keep American history alive for future generations. Today, we have the opportunity to preserve 42 total acres at two western battlefields. By securing these acres, you can help substantially complete the preservation of the Brice’s Cross Roads battlefield and secure core battlefield land at Missionary Ridge!

The Opportunity 

Saving these 42 acres at two western battlefields amounts to a total transaction value of $292,742.  Thanks to the tremendous generosity of some major donors, along with an anticipated matching federal grant, we have about $236,083 of the cost covered -- 80%! If you can help raise the last $56,659, a $5.17-to-$1 match of your donation dollar, we can save this land forever.

The Background

Sixteen of the Civil War’s 384 principal battles were fought in Mississippi, and today we have the chance to help substantially complete one of them.

Brice’s Cross Roads, fought on June 10, 1864, was a battle that historian Bruce Catton called “one of the most startling defeats of the war” for the 8,300 Union soldiers on the field under the command of General Samuel D. Sturgis.

Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest faced a larger force but, undeterred, he opened a fight with Sturgis to lure and tire in the Union infantry. Forrest then pounded the Union center with artillery while moving around the Yankee flanks with fast-moving cavalry, threatening the Union’s route of retreat. The Union had lost by then and had to fight for the right to just retreat. When the battle had finished, Forrest inflicted more than 2,600 casualties while suffering fewer than 500.

Today, we have the chance to substantially complete the preservation of the battlefield by adding 42 additional acres. This land includes key area along Tishomingo Creek, as well as a small but crucial tract in the heart of the battlefield. Saving this land would bring the total number of preserved acres to 1,500. As you can see on the map, there are now only a few more key parcels left to save, before we declare Brice’s Cross Roads fully preserved.

At Missionary Ridge, we have a half-acre tract the Tunnel Hill section of the battlefield. Here, on the foggy morning of November 25, 1863, John Kountz, a 17 year-old drummer boy from Ohio, put down his drum, picked up the rifle of a fallen comrade, and was one of a handful of soldiers of the 37th Ohio who pressed through withering fire to nearly the Confederate line in an attempt dislodge Texas troops entrenched there. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valorous actions on this tract that day.

Saving these 42 acres will help keep these stories alive for future generations. Given all that is going on in our world today, you can be assured that preserve these acres is a real and tangible gift to the country, for today and tomorrow.

Please consider making your most generous gift now to help raise the $56,659 we need to save these 42 acres at Western Battlefields 

But those of us who study history know that if we can maintain our courage in times like these, we can achieve our mission, no matter how the odds are stacked against us.
Jim Lighthizer, American Battlefield Trust President
Save 42 Acres at Two Western Battlefields




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