This morning, singer-songwriter Trace Adkins is scheduled to testify before an appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill on the importance of preserving Civil War battlefields. He is the great-great-grandson of a Confederate soldier who was wounded and captured at Vicksburg. According to an advance copy of his testimony to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, Trace will note that being able to visit the battlefield where his ancestor fought was, “a spiritual moment for me,” that was possible only because it had been preserved.

Civil War Trust president James Lighthizer was also expected to testify about the critical importance of the full funding of the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program that would be $10 million for the next fiscal year. Since 1999, funding of this matching grant program has meant 16,500 acres of battlefield land was saved in 14 states, according to his prepared remarks.

Lighthizer was prepared to tell the committee that there would be no need for the grant program in five or ten years because, “the remaining Civil War battlefield lands will either be paved over or protected. This is why we must act now in order to preserve as much key battlefield land as possible before time runs out.”