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Tennessee Wars Commission

The Tennessee General Assembly enacted legislation in April 1994 creating the Tennessee Wars Commission, which is administratively attached to the Tennessee Historical Commission.

The duties of the Wars Commission include the coordination of planning, preservation, and promotion of structures, buildings, sites, and battlefields of Tennessee associated with the French and Indian War (1754-1763), American Revolution War (1775-1783), War of 1812 (1812-1815), U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848), and the War Between the States (1861-1865). The Commission has developed a plan that provides incentives to local landowners and governments to preserve and restore battlefields and historic sites related to the above time frames. It is charged with acquiring or providing funds for the acquisition of battlegrounds, cemeteries, and other historic properties associated with the wars.

The Commission has the authority to expend funds received from state appropriations, and other sources, to make grants to municipalities, counties, and nonprofit organizations for the purposes of maintaining and restoring existing memorials and cemeteries related to the wars. It is also authorized to receive and accept loans, gifts, grants, donations, or contributions of money, property, facilities, and services. The Commission may, with the consent of the landowner, acquire by donation, purchase, or exchange, lands and interests in battlefields, together with lands and interest in lands necessary to provide adequate public access to the battlefields and memorials. Subject to appropriations for such purposes, the Commission may make funds available for the maintenance and protection of battlefields and memorials.

The Tennessee Wars Commission has published several brochures providing information about Civil War sites in Tennessee as well as a comprehensive plan entitled, Preservation and Interpretation Plan for Civil War Resources in Tennessee. An Emmy Award-winning video, Hallowed Ground, Preserving Tennessee's Civil War Battlefields, is being sent to over 2000 Tennessee public schools for use in their libraries and history classes associated with the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades. Click on the following links for more information about the programs of the Tennessee Wars Commission: