Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report
National Park Service


The Civil War Sites Advisory Commission was established by Congress because the nation's Civil War heritage is in grave danger. It is being demolished and bulldozed at an alarming pace. It is disappearing under new buildings, parking lots, and highways. Especially impacted are the battlefields because of their relatively large size, generally open character, and frequent proximity to today's expanding population centers. The nation needs a solution to this problem.

The Commission sought advice from the public, government officials, and experts in many fields of land protection and preservation. The scholarship and data researched by Federal, state, and local historians provided a strong base for the education and decision process of the Commission. The extraordinary trips to Civil War sites, augmented by hearing local views and experiences, expanded and challenged the Commissioners' knowledge. A conflux of feelings, intelligence, conservation, and care for the future of the Civil War heritage of the United States is the result.

Senator Dale L. Bumpers of Arkansas and former Congressman James R. Olin of Virginia initially proposed the act establishing the Commission. They were joined by many other members of Congress, especially members of the Sunbelt Caucus, and by former Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan, Jr., in establishing this study of the Nation's Civil War heritage. We are all grateful for their foresight and dedication.

On behalf of the Commissioners, I would like to thank all who contributed their time, expertise, energy, and enthusiasm. National Park Service staff have been diligent in their support, enthusiasm, and organization of a vast amount of research material. We are grateful, too, for the assistance of many State Historic Preservation Offices, state park agencies, and local friends groups. I give special recognition to the Commissioners who spent many volunteer hours on this prodigious effort to safekeep and preserve our unique national historical heritage -- sites of the American Civil War.

In the words of Mary A.H. Gay of Decatur, Georgia:

I would resurrect the loftiest patriotism from the most humble graves in the Southern land, and prove by heroic deeds and noble acts that valor on the battle-field was as often illustrated by the humble soldier whose name has not been preserved in "storied urn," as by the gallant son of chivalrous ancestors who commanded the applause of an admiring multitude.

All Americans have an important and urgent duty to perform in preserving these battlefields. This is an investment in the education of present and future generations of Americans about events that changed forever America's ideas about individual freedom and national unity.

--Holly A. Robinson, Chair Civil War Sites Advisory Commision

Respectfully Submitted:

Dr. Holly A. Robinson, Chair (Georgia)

Mr. Hyde H. Murray, Vice-Chair (District of Columbia)

Mr. Edwin C. Bearss, ex officio (District of Columbia)

Dr. Mary Frances Berry (Pennsylvania)

Mr. Ken Burns (New Hampshire)

Dr. Robert D. Bush, ex officio (District of Columbia)

Mr. Howard J. Coffin (Vermont)

Dr. William J. Cooper, Jr. (Louisiana)

Hon. Frances "Peg" Lamont (South Dakota)

Mr. J. Roderick Heller, III (District of Columbia)

Hon. Robert J. Mrazek (New York)

Dr. James M. McPherson (New Jersey)

Hon. Charles H. Taylor (North Carolina)

Hon. William J. Wright (Georgia)

July 10, 1993

Previous Section | Next Section | Contents Page

Creation Date: 3/14/95

Last Update 2/15/96 by TGossett