Some of these sites, such as forts
But many others battlefields, batteries and forts have remained tucked away in the woods or already have been lost to development.
No one knows exactly how many of these sites exist, but that could change soon, as the
Though historic, most of the Revolutionary and Civil War battlefield sites have little or no protection, and an estimated 90 percent of them are privately owned, said
"The information about historic sites in the entire state is dangerously fragmented," he said. "So if properties are going to be developed, the likelihood of somebody understanding the historic assets that need to be studied or mitigated in some fashion is becoming less and less likely."
The trust's study is being made possible by a
The trust plans to conduct a comprehensive survey of sites not only of
Those counties were chosen in part because the
Bostick said the study will pull together a database that includes the dates of any battles or construction of the fortification; what guns once stood there; tax map numbers; addresses; GPS coordinates and other information.
It also will produce a priority list of sites that the trust would like to see subjected to conservation easements, and it also will lead to nominations of other sites to the
"There are a number of sites that clearly qualify for the
Once it is complete, the information will be given to the
Johnson said battlefield information currently is scattered across several organizations around the state, "and this fragmentation could lead to the unintentional loss of sites through unawareness of their existence."
As he wrote the grant, Bostick said he did a cursory count of only the Civil War sites in
"As we kept digging and organizing and running through the period reports, that number has grown to about 221 sites," he said. "It's immense what happened here in
Of those 221 that once existed, only about 70 have some remnants left, he said. And of those 70 sites, only 19 have permanent protection, such as public ownership or a conservation easement.
"We're interested in trying to preserve as many of the extant sites that we can," he said.
Asked which of those sites could be considered the most endangered, Bostick said, "There's a lot of competition for that title. The economy is bouncing back fairly well, and development is going strong."
For instance, Bostick said he recently learned of a land sale in southern
"These properties are starting to turn over," he said. "Now it's not investors buying these properties, it's builders buying these properties."
Campi said the
"Unlike Civil War battlefields, there is no national nonprofit advocate for Revolutionary War battlefields," he said. "That makes it all the more important that statewide preservation groups like the
Some saved, some still unknown
The study is gearing up as the
It recently acquired Battery Wilkes, a 1862 earthen fortification built to protect a strategic intersection of a road and the
Half of the defense work was razed about 50 years ago, when
Also, the trust successfully worked with a developer
Late last year, the trust received a conservation easement for almost 5 acres on
And the trust also closed on Church Flats Battery, a 2-acre site on
"We have had some success stories lately," Bostick said. "What concerns us is the places we're not even aware of."
For instance, Bostick said he only recently learned of three surviving Confederate fortification sites along the
"I had no idea they even existed eight months ago," he said. "We're still finding places all the time, and what that's telling me is that a lot of time, even the property owners aren't aware of what these things are."
By the numbers
250+ Number of Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields and associated sites in
6,000 Approximate number of acres these sites cover.
33 Approximate percentage of sites estimated to remain relatively unchanged since the battles.
21 Battlefield sites in both counties currently listed on the
7 Number of
90 Percent of sites that are privately owned.
4 Percent of sites publicly owned.
6 Percent of sites owned by a nonprofit group.
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