PERRYVILLE — Thanks to more than $43,000 awarded by the American Battlefield Protection Program, which is part of the National Park Service, and funds matched by the Civil War Trust, a new addition is being made to Perryville Battlefield.
Known as the Lester tract, the lot is slightly more than one acre and is bordered on three sides by park property. The property is considered part of the core area within the National Historic Landmark Boundary, according Kurt Holman, manager at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site.
“Shortly after 10 a.m. on Oct. 8, 1862, Capt. Carnes’ Tennessee Battery (CSA) opened fire from behind the Lester tract, placing it between the lines of the Union and Confederate armies,” Holman said, explaining the significance of the property in the Civil War battle that was fought there.
Holman said the property was crossed multiple times afterward, with the Confederate wounded ultimately passing over it.
“The small but historically important property is located on Battlefield Road, surrounded by land previously preserved by the Civil War Trust, in partnership with Perryville State (Historic Site),” Jim Campi, policy and communications director of the Civil War Trust, said.
The Civil War Trust is a non-profit organization devoted to preservation of historic battlefield lands in the United States.
All land preservation for Perryville Battlefield is handled by the trust, which eventually turns over those properties to the park.
For the trust to receive the grant, it had to have a local government sponsor and Boyle County Fiscal Court was willing to step in.
“This is an ongoing effort on behalf of a lot of people,” Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said. “We are always proud to help them.”
McKinney said the historic properties are a learning tool for future generations.
The Fiscal Court works as a “pass-through agency” for the Civil War Trust, according to McKinney.
Magistrates passed the measure in June, and the grant recipients were announced Sept. 27 by the American Battlefield Protection Program.
“This is one of those situations where everybody benefits. It is a good thing for all people involved, and we want to continue to help any way we can,” McKinney said.