Mission to preserve Revolutionary War site in Princeton enlists further support

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A Revolutionary War battlefield in Princeton, New Jersey, has gotten reinforcements from the Civil War.

The Civil War Trust has, in the last 27 years, preserved more than 40,000 acres of historic battlefields from the War Between the States in 20 of those states. At the urging of the National Park Service, it has just expanded its scope.

“We are announcing today we are changing our mission from the Civil War battlefields to also include the Revolutionary War battlefields and the War of 1812 battlefields,” said James Lighthizer, trust president, on Tuesday, standing in front of The Princeton Battlefield Monument in downtown.

The first effort in the Civil War Trust’s “Campaign 1776” is 4.6 acres of the Revolutionary War battlefield in Princeton that had been privately owned by Francis D’Ambrisi. The trust secured the land with the help of Princeton Township and New Jersey’s Green Acres program.

Across the Princeton Battlefield, another tract is the subject of an ongoing fight between the Institute for Advanced Study and the Princeton Battlefield Society, a local preservation group. The institute is planning to develop faculty housing on several acres of land where the Battle of Princeton — a key victory for Gen. George Washington — was partially fought.

While the Civil War Trust is not actively seeking the Institute for Advanced Study land, Princeton Battle Society president Jerry Hurwitz said his association with the Civil War Trust will aid his efforts.

“This is the recognition,” said Hurwitz. “It gives us the credibility that we are not alone.”

Last week, the Princeton Planning Board approved the Institute for Advanced Study’s development plan for faculty housing on what had been a part of the Princeton Battlefield.

NewsWorks New Jersey editor Alan Tu contributed to this report.

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