Alexander: Preservation keeps lessons of history alive


Alexander: Preservation keeps lessons of history alive

Sen. Lamar Alexander on Mar. 17 delivered a statement on behalf of his bill to expand the Shiloh National Military Park.

On Mar. 17, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on National Parks held a legislative hearing on 24 bills, one of which was Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s legislation to modify the boundary of the Shiloh National Military Park to establish Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield as an affiliated area of the National Park System. This is the statement Sen. Alexander submitted for the committee record. Following Alexander’s statement is a link to a video of testimony given by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, sponsor of the House version of the bill:

In this country, we talk a lot about the importance of science and math, but on standardized tests, most high school seniors in America score the worst in history.

Throughout my time in the Senate, I have emphasized the importance of teaching American history and civics so our children can grow up learning what it means to be an American. One way to encourage the study of U.S. history and what it means to be an American is to protect significant historical sites for future generations.

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the most significant battles of the Civil War, and at the time of the battle, it was the bloodiest battle in American history with more than 23,000 casualties. The Shiloh National Military Park preserves the story of that battle and provides the public with a continued opportunity to understand the Battle of Shiloh.

  1. 1943, the Shiloh National Military Park Boundary Adjustment and Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Designation Act, would expand the boundary of Shiloh National Military Park to include the Davis Bridge, Fallen Timbers, and Russell House battlefields within the Siege and Battle of Corinth boundary of the park.

In 2004, the National Park Service completed the “Corinth Special Resource Study and Boundary Adjustment Environmental Assessment.” That assessment recommend 18 sites be included in the boundary of the Shiloh National Military Park. In 2007, Congress expanded the Park to include 12 of those recommended sites. This legislation would allow for inclusion of three of the six remaining recommended sites.

According to the National Park Service, the Davis Bridge, Fallen Timbers, and Russell House battlefields “would contribute significantly to telling the remarkable story of the Union Army’s Mississippi Valley Campaign during the Civil War, especially the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee and the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. The Mississippi Valley Campaign was a major milestone on the road that led to the final success of the Union Army in the war and the ultimate reunification of the nation.”

The landscape of these recommended battlefields has remained largely intact and provides a unique opportunity to relate and interpret these areas to the Shiloh Campaign. The National Park Service has already determined these battlefields are nationally significant and need to be preserved and protected. Additionally, two years ago, the National Park Service testified in support of this legislation.

The bill would also designate Parker’s Crossroads battlefield as an affiliated area of the National Park System. Parker’s Crossroads is currently a state-owned park that provides visitors with the opportunity for a self-guided driving tour and over two miles of paved walking trails. The Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Designating this state park as an affiliated area of the National Park System will create a unique partnership between the National Park Service and the local and state government. The area would be managed jointly by the City of Parker’s Crossroads and the Tennessee Historical Commission. This designation will allow Parker’s Crossroads to continue to be owned and managed at the local level while also receiving technical assistance from the National Park Service, as well as the national recognition that comes with being associated with the National Park System.

As Americans, we have a special obligation to preserve and protect our heritage. Expanding the boundary of the Shiloh National Military Park and allowing Parker’s Crossroads to become an affiliated area of the National Park System will further our understanding of the Civil War and its important place in our nation’s history.

I thank the Committee for holding this hearing today.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

Blackburn testified in February

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is carrying the Shiloh boundary expansion legislation in the House of Representatives. In February, Congressman Blackburn testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of her legislation. To view or download video of her testimony, click here.

On Mar. 17, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on National Parks held a legislative hearing on 24 bills, one of which was Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s legislation to modify the boundary of the Shiloh National Military Park to establish Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield as an affiliated area of the National Park System. This is the statement Sen. Alexander submitted for the committee record. Following Alexander’s statement is a link to a video of testimony given by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, sponsor of the House version of the bill:

In this country, we talk a lot about the importance of science and math, but on standardized tests, most high school seniors in America score the worst in history.

Throughout my time in the Senate, I have emphasized the importance of teaching American history and civics so our children can grow up learning what it means to be an American. One way to encourage the study of U.S. history and what it means to be an American is to protect significant historical sites for future generations.

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the most significant battles of the Civil War, and at the time of the battle, it was the bloodiest battle in American history with more than 23,000 casualties. The Shiloh National Military Park preserves the story of that battle and provides the public with a continued opportunity to understand the Battle of Shiloh.

  1. 1943, the Shiloh National Military Park Boundary Adjustment and Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Designation Act, would expand the boundary of Shiloh National Military Park to include the Davis Bridge, Fallen Timbers, and Russell House battlefields within the Siege and Battle of Corinth boundary of the park.

In 2004, the National Park Service completed the “Corinth Special Resource Study and Boundary Adjustment Environmental Assessment.” That assessment recommend 18 sites be included in the boundary of the Shiloh National Military Park. In 2007, Congress expanded the Park to include 12 of those recommended sites. This legislation would allow for inclusion of three of the six remaining recommended sites.

According to the National Park Service, the Davis Bridge, Fallen Timbers, and Russell House battlefields “would contribute significantly to telling the remarkable story of the Union Army’s Mississippi Valley Campaign during the Civil War, especially the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee and the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. The Mississippi Valley Campaign was a major milestone on the road that led to the final success of the Union Army in the war and the ultimate reunification of the nation.”

The landscape of these recommended battlefields has remained largely intact and provides a unique opportunity to relate and interpret these areas to the Shiloh Campaign. The National Park Service has already determined these battlefields are nationally significant and need to be preserved and protected. Additionally, two years ago, the National Park Service testified in support of this legislation.

The bill would also designate Parker’s Crossroads battlefield as an affiliated area of the National Park System. Parker’s Crossroads is currently a state-owned park that provides visitors with the opportunity for a self-guided driving tour and over two miles of paved walking trails. The Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Designating this state park as an affiliated area of the National Park System will create a unique partnership between the National Park Service and the local and state government. The area would be managed jointly by the City of Parker’s Crossroads and the Tennessee Historical Commission. This designation will allow Parker’s Crossroads to continue to be owned and managed at the local level while also receiving technical assistance from the National Park Service, as well as the national recognition that comes with being associated with the National Park System.

As Americans, we have a special obligation to preserve and protect our heritage. Expanding the boundary of the Shiloh National Military Park and allowing Parker’s Crossroads to become an affiliated area of the National Park System will further our understanding of the Civil War and its important place in our nation’s history.

I thank the Committee for holding this hearing today.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

Blackburn testified in February

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is carrying the Shiloh boundary expansion legislation in the House of Representatives. In February, Congressman Blackburn testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of her legislation. To view or download video of her testimony, click here.

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