Hyde-Smith cosponsors bill supporting battlefield preservation program
Courtesy of Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s office

Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith voted with her colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to approve legislation to reauthorize a battlefield preservation program utilized in Mississippi to save historic sites.

Hyde-Smith cosponsored the Preserving American’s Battlefields Act of 2019 (S.225), which is now available for consideration by the full Senate.  This measure would reauthorize the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program through FY2028.

“Mississippi has certainly benefited from this battlefield preservation grant program, which relies on nongovernment partnerships to protect historic sites,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Ensuring these sites are available to future generations not only preserves our history, but also helps establish them as economic assets for local communities.”

The National Park Service provides matching funds through the Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant Program to preserve significant battlefields.  S.225 also includes provisions to promote improved interpretation of high-priority battlefield sites to help transform them into genuine historic tourism destinations.  The American Battlefield Trust has endorsed the Senate bill.

In Mississippi, this grant program has helped save numerous sites including Vicksburg, Champion Hill, Brice’s Cross Roads, Corinth, Port Gibson, Big Black River Ridge, and other sites.

In June, the National Park Service awarded a $109,806 grant to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the American Battlefield Trust to acquire 58 acres of the Champion Hill Battlefield threatened by urban and suburban development.