Preserving Washington D.C.’s Civil War

Preserving Washington D.C.’s Civil War Forts

From the Washington Post article:

But now, said Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust, Washington’s famed beltway of fortresses is falling to the assault of time. Yesterday, the trust placed the capital’s forgotten ring of forts on its list of most-endangered Civil War battlefields. It’s “hallowed ground,” Lighthizer said yesterday, “important land, historically significant land that should be saved and is in danger of being destroyed. . . . What is left of it is dying because of neglect and lack of coordination for maintenance and interpretation.”

Yesterday, standing in a chilly wind by a historical plaque marking where Lincoln stood, Lighthizer and other preservationists talked about the importance of Fort Stevens and the rest of the ring forts. As they spoke, a tattered American flag snapped from a tall flagpole, and empty beer, liquor and soda bottles could be seen scattered around the fort’s interior.

Questions: (1) Exactly who is Lighthizer appealing to? Who is the audience? (2) What specifically would be lost if these particular sites were overrun by urban sprawl? (3) What is the overall strategy of preservationist organizations and is there a difference between quantity and quality (importance) of what is preserved?

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation. Follow me on Twitter and join the Civil War Memory Facebook group for continuous updates and additional links to newsworthy items from around the interwebs. Stay up to date by subscribing to this blog’s feed. You can also check out my recently published book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

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