Wednesday, September 26, 2012

News---150 Years Later, Preservations See Victory At Antietam

150 Years Later, Preservationists See Victory At Antietam, Michael Dresser, Los Angles Times, September 16, 2012.

150th anniversary of the battle of Antietam The fighting that killed or wounded 21,000 Americans in the rolling hills of western Maryland was over in about 12 grisly hours. But a century and a half after the bloodiest day in American military history, the struggle to preserve the ground where Union and Confederate soldiers fought the Battle of Antietam only now appears close to a declaration of victory.
As Americans gather to honor the sacrifice of those who fell Sept. 17, 1862 — as they are doing this weekend and Monday on the 150th anniversary — they will do so at one of the nation's best-preserved Civil War sites.  Unlike many of the places where Union and Confederate forces clashed, Antietam offers visitors the opportunity to view the terrain much as it appeared at the time — without the visual clutter of the 20th and 21st centuries.

"It's a remarkable success story of historic preservation," said O. James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Trust. "Antietam is the best-preserved Civil War battlefield east of Shiloh" in western Tennessee.  The prospects for Antietam's preservation didn't always appear so hopeful. For three straight years, 1989 to 1991, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed Antietam among its 11 most threatened historic places because of encroaching development.

Now the national trust considers Antietam a model of public-private cooperation to preserve historic land — not just on the battlefield, but in the surrounding area. "At Antietam, the context for the battlefield also is conserved," said Rob Nieweg, director of the trust's Washington field office. "The public in 2012 or 2050 will have the opportunity to envision what happened here."

Full Text of Story Continued at Los Angles Times, September 16, 2012

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