Battles and Wars

Sites associated with wars fought on American soil help provide a means for Americans to understand and interpret various periods in our country's history. At the direction of Congress the ABPP has, over the past two decades, identified, surveyed, and assessed significant sites associated with the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the War of 1812. Sites included in the reports below are eligible for Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants. In addition to these studies, the ABPP has supported the identification, survey, and assessment of battlefields ranging from 16th-century colonial encounters to World War II actions in the Pacific through the Battlefield Preservation Planning Grant program.

National Park Service units associated with battles (MS Excel)

Civil War Study

The Civil War Sites Advisory Commission was established by Congress in 1990 to assess the state of preservation of the nation's Civil War battlefields. The commission's findings include the identification of 384 principal battlefields of the Civil War and the ranking of these battlefields by their historical significance and their need and opportunity for preservation. The resulting 1993 report includes summary text and two technical appendices, available at the link below. Battlefields identified in this report are eligible for Battlefield Land Acquisition grants.

The American Battlefield Protection Program completed an update to this report, including resurvey of many battlefields, in 2014. This is not currently available online. Please contact abpp@nps.gov for copies of the national or state level report updates.

Civil War

Revolution/1812 Study

Congress authorized The Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Historic Preservation Study in 1996 because many historic sites of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 are at risk from rapid urban or suburban development. The goals of the study were 1) to gather current information about the significance of, current condition of, and threats to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites, and 2) to present preservation and interpretation alternatives for the sites.

The National Park Service identified and documented 677 significant places associated with the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. The resulting report presents information about at-risk battlefields and associated properties for consideration by Federal, State, tribal, municipal, non-profit, and private entities.

This study is the broadest Federal effort to indentify important places associated with the two wars. During the study, the National Park Service called upon the expertise of an advisory committee of noted scholars. The committee looked at the wars from the perspectives of the colonists, European nations, American Indians, and African Americans in order to determine the relative significance of the sites. The National Park Service then undertook an extensive four-year field effort to examine the condition of 243 battlefields and 434 associated historic properties in 31 States, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands. Field surveys indicated that as many as 170 sites, particularly those located in rapidly developing areas, face injury or destruction in the near future. The study report establishes preservation priorities among the sites and provides information about model programs at the Federal, State, and local levels that can be used to help protect them.

Revolutionary War and War of 1812

Last updated: June 15, 2020

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