From National Parks Traveler
By NPT Staff on May 2nd, 2019
A $160,552 grant released from the American Battlefield Protection Program by the National Park Service will help purchase nearly 19 acres for preservation as part of the South Mountain Battlefield in Maryland.
The land in question was threatened with damage or destruction by urban and suburban development, according to a Park Service release.
In September of 1862, mislaid communications led to the Battle of South Mountain. Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s plans to split the Army of Northern Virginia, sending half into western Maryland and half to capture the federal garrison at Harper’s Ferry, landed in the hands of Union Commander Major General George B. McClellan.
McClellan responded to this intelligence by sending his forces to South Mountain to destroy the Confederate forces and divide Lee’s vulnerable army. While the Union was successful against the Confederate forces at South Mountain, Confederate resistance allowed Lee to reunite and concentrate his forces, setting the stage for the Battle of Antietam three days later.
The American Battlefield Protection Program’s Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant program provides up to 50 percent in matching funds for state and local governments to acquire and preserve threatened Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefield land through the purchase of land in fee simple and permanent, protective interests in land.
Eligible battlefields are listed in the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission’s 1993 “Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields” and the 2007 “Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States.”