More battlefield preserved at Bentonville

From the Civil War Trust:

North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund Awards Major Grant for Battlefield Preservation

(Bentonville, N.C.) – The North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund on Feb. 27 approved a $355,000 grant to acquire 120 acres that will become part of Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site. The Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest battlefield preservation organization, will be matching the state grant dollar-for-dollar using funds from the federal American Battlefield Protection Program, effectively allowing the state to acquire the land for half its total cost. With the completion of this project, the Trust and the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources will have partnered in the preservation of a total of 1,435 acres at Bentonville….

Each of the nine properties covered by the grant is adjacent to previously preserved properties, allowing this project to augment and enhance the preservation legacy at Bentonville. With the assistance of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund, in particular, the Civil War Trust has been able to acquire historically significant battlefield land associated with the First, Second and Third Days of the battle.  Today, a total of 1,435 acres have been permanently protected at Bentonville, much of it through partnerships between the Civil War Trust, Bentonville Battleground Historical Association, the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources ….

With its proximity to Interstates 95 and 40, Bentonville has long been eyed by preservationists as a site potentially vulnerable to development. Today, Johnston and Wayne counties continue to experience long-term development pressure that is threatening the remaining rural landscape in the vicinity of Bentonville. This project will preserve open green space as well as the remnants of a battlefield that, in the words of the federal Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, had “a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war.” This combination of historic significance and pending threat, earned Bentonville a Priority I, Class A ranking in that congressionally-authorized report, the highest possible designation….

(Read the entire release here)

The release continues to describe the battle, fought on March 19-21, 1865, as covering some 6000 acres of ground.  So about a fifth of that is, or will be, directly preserved within the state park.

The Cole Plantation - Bentonville
The Cole Plantation at Bentonville, courtesy of CWT (Flickr page)