14 March 2009 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 1 comment

The following passage, which comes from the quarterly newsletter of the Washington County, Maryland Planning Department, demonstrates the excellent preservation work being done around the Antietam National Battlefield by the local authorities. The folks from Washington County are quietly doing an excellent job:


Washington County received a Rural Legacy Program award in the amount of $460,700 for Fiscal Year 2009 at an award ceremony by Governor Martin O’Malley on December 3rd. Senator Don Munson was on hand for the award presentation. The funds will help Washington County to continue purchasing easements in the Antietam Battlefield area as we work towards our overall county goal of 50,000 acres under permanent preservation.

Including the FY 2009 award, our 11th since the inception of the Rural Legacy Program, Washington County has now preserved in perpetuity more than 4,000 acres on 30 farms in the Antietam Battlefield area through grant awards exceeding $11 million.

Kudos for a job well done. I wish more states had this sort of program to provide funding and that better use is made of preservation easements.

Scridb filter


  1. Chris Van Blargan
    Wed 18th Mar 2009 at 5:50 pm


    Antietam has become the gem of the national battlefield parks over the last 30 years. As I noted on your message board, it’s ironic that Antietam is now the finest example of the “Chickamauga Plan,” whereas the battlefields that stuck with the “Antietam Plan” (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness) have either been compromised or will require multi-millions as preservationists battle with developers for property.

    What’s even more amazing is that 30 years ago, only 700 acres were preserved at Antietam, with significant encroachment as evidenced by Frassanito’s modern views along the Hagerstown Pike. Today the park preserves approximately 3,000 acres.

    The success appears to be the result of long term planning by the National Park System as well as state and local support for historic preservation. While attending law school, I had access to the University of Akron’s government document collection which included all of the recent battlefield plans. By far, the plan for Antietam was the most comprehensive, and included evaluation of viewsheds and preservation plans for property miles from the core battlefield. The cited article appears to confirm that Washington County is following this plan. I join your praise for Maryland and Washington County, and although the Department of the Interior has done some strange things at other sites (i.e. the Seminary Ridge Railroad Cut at Gettysburg), I think it deserves credit here.


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