House Set to Pass Spratt's Revolutionary War Sites Bill
July 25, 2006
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives tonight is expected to pass a bill authored by U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) to identify and preserve historic Revolutionary War sites in South Carolina.
Spratt's bill, H.R. 1289, the Southern Campaign of the Revolution Heritage Act, was included in the National Heritage Areas Act, S. 203, which passed the Senate by voice vote on July 26, 2005. Spratt's bill directs the Interior Department to conduct a study, in consultation with state historic societies, to determine the feasibility of designating various sites across South Carolina as the "Southern Campaign of the Revolution Heritage Area."
In a House floor statement, Spratt said his bill is focused on "the most important part of the campaign for the Revolution, the Revolution in the South, where the Revolution was largely won after the fall of Charleston in the back country. The whole matter has been popularized by Mel Gibson and others in a movie called 'The Patriot.' We need this national corridor to tell the story right."
Spratt said South Carolina has an abundance of American Revolutionary War sites scattered across the state, including a mix of national parks, state parks, and public and private sites. Several of these sites require federal resources to reach their development potential, while some are in danger of being developed commercially and lost entirely. Although other sites exist, there is not a single heritage area in place to demarcate the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War or to promote and protect the resources as
The Interior Department study will:
Determine if the sites have historic and cultural resources that represent aspects of American heritage worthy of recognition and conservation, and identify the most effective management of each site;
Consider whether the sites offer opportunities to conserve historic and cultural features, and if they provide recreational and educational opportunities;
Determine if any residents, businesses, or state and local governments already have plans for their respective areas, and if any have developed a financial plan that outlines the roles of each of the participants; and
Authorize the study to include sites in North Carolina as necessary.
"This study encompasses battles like Kings Mountain, Cowpens, and Camden, and heroes like Thomas Sumter, Francis Marion, Daniel Morgan, and Nathaniel Greene. After the fall of Charleston in May 1780, when the South seemed lost, they turned the tide of battle in the back-country and sent a battered Cornwallis to Virginia, where he was beaten at Yorktown. This is a story that needs to be told well, and a heritage corridor will help us do that. I am pleased to see this bill finally pass and pave the way for establishment of a Revolutionary corridor," said Spratt.