Preserving Historical Assets
The United States is rich with history and there is a palpable sense of what the past means everywhere that you look in our daily lives. In an effort to preserve and promote the historical past, there are mechanisms in place that help private citizens, non-profit organizations and governmental bodies preserve land. One of our most important historical resources are the battlefields where the United States Civil War was fought.
These battlefields are critically important to the mission of When to Die, Civil War Reenactors, as well as the general public. In order to provide an environment that allows individuals a way to physically experience the tragedy and the power of war, these sites remain an essential educational tool.
Civil War Reenactors are huge supporters of preservation of battlefields and monuments dedicated to the brave soldiers who fought in the United States Civil War. Without this preservation and a commitment from many different entities, there is no way that the physical reminders of the past would be saved from development.
Who preserves these battlefields:
While there are various other entities, private and public, that manage historical landmarks and battlefields; we are going to focus on the largest entities.
The National Parks Service
The National Parks Service (NPS) was founded on August 25, 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson signed National Park Service Organic Act. The stated purpose of the NPS was to “…promote and regulate the use of Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations , which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
The NPS now manages more than 84 million acres within over 400 different areas throughout the United States and its territories.
Today the NPS employs more than 20,000 employees dedicated to preserving nature and local history.
Civil War Trust
The Civil War Trust began in 1987 under the name Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites. The name changed to what we know it as now in 1991 when two organizations merged. The Civil War Trustis the number one entity for preserving Battlefields in the United States.  Their method of preservation is to acquire the land and protect it from development.The Civil War Trust has purchased and protected 42,653 acres in 21 states according to the Civil War Trust website. For a detailed map of all of the sites that the Civil War Trust has preserved and to for an interactive map, go to The Civil War trust website here: http://www.civilwar.org/land-preservation/land-saved/
The Civil War Trust has 55,000 members and is has multiple active campaigns to acquire more land. The Civil War Trust has expanded beyond just Civil War battlefields with some of their current project. Read next week's blog for a more detailed explanation of current projects.
The Conservation Fund was founded in 1985. The organization has conserved 75 million acres of land since its start. The Conservation Fund is one of the largest and most well respected conservation organizations in the world with various projects that range from land acquisition to strategic conservation partnerships.
Part of The Fund's mission is to conserve Civil War Battlefields. The organization has preserved 83 battle sites in 14 states 
Click on the flag below to see the battlefields that The Conservation Fund has preserved in each state:
To find out more about the legislation behind battlefield preservation, here are more resources: