Heritage & News - April 2004

Harpers Ferry, WV - 'Most Endangered Battlefields' (2) - Fort Negley, TN (reproduced from issue 74 of Crossfire, the magazine of the ACWRT(UK)


Compiled by Ken Grant-Coker


Budget shortfalls cause problems at Harpers Ferry


The Harpers Ferry National Park is running an annual budget deficit of $3.5 million and requires a further $10 million for upgrades and maintenance.



Although the Park appears to be in a better condition than most other Parks it has in the last decade suffered a number of floods and other weather problems with many of its buildings and exhibits situated on low ground at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers and easily endangered by adverse weather conditions. The shortfall in funding has meant that the Park has to decline three out of every four school trips and to cancel its annual Independence Day fireworks and music show. This shortfall in funding is affecting all the National Parks in one way or another and the total overall shortfall in funding is estimated to be in the region of $4 to $6 billion in backlogged maintenance and repairs. Although this crisis in maintenance work has not prevented the Government approving funds to expand the Park from 2505 acres to 3745 acres!


The Civil War Preservation Trust: most endangered Civil War battlefields.


The report warns that the Civil War battlefields are "disappearing at an alarming pace" and that "once lost, these fragile links to America's past can never be replaced or replicated." The report is split in to two parts the first section cites the 10 most endangered battlefields with a brief description of their history and preservation status, the second section lists the next 15 battlefields at risk.


The top 10 endangered battlefields for 2004 are:


Chancellorsville, Virginia ... Fort Donelson, Tennessee ... Franklin, Tennessee ... Glendale, Virginia ... "The Hell Hole," Georgia ... Mansfield, Louisiana ... Morris Island, South Carolina ... New Bern, North Carolina ...South Mountain, Maryland ... Wilson's Creek, Missouri ...


Fort Negley to be preserved as a ruin


Fort Negley, Nashville was built in 1862 and has long been neglected with the last rehabilitation work being completed in 1930. The Parks department have decided not to rebuild the fort but to maintain it as a ruin with a two phase construction the first phase being an interpretive trail, car parking, overlooks and interpretive signing and later a visitor's centre.


Once phase one is complete Fort Negley will be open to visitors for the first time in 60 years.



ACWRT(UK) 2004