Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

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Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, at 2332 New Garden Road in Greensboro, North Carolina, commemorates the Battle of Guilford Court House, fought on March 15, 1781. This battle opened the campaign that led to American victory in the Revolutionary War. The losses by the British in this battle contributed to their surrender at Yorktown seven months later. The battlefield is preserved as a National Military Park and operated by the National Park Service (NPS). Based on research of historical evidence, the interpretation of the battle has changed since the late 20th century, which will affect the placement of monuments and markers.

Battlefield preservation
In 1886, local resident David Schenck initiated plans to gain control of land to commemorate the Guilford Courthouse battleground as a park. The following year, he chartered the non-profit Guilford Battle Ground Company to advance such efforts. From an early date, he planned on the group's donating the property it purchased to the federal government. When the US Congress finally established Guilford Courthouse as a national military park in 1917, the GBGC turned over its 125 acres (0.51 km 2) at no charge. The years of control by the GBGC left a mixed legacy. First, Schenck did not preserve the terrain in its approximate historical state, but beautified the landscape for a pleasing experience. Before the grounds were established as a military park, state historical societies began to erect monuments in the area purchased by the GBGC. These conflicted with the methods of interpretation used by the National Park Service after it took over operations. Second, he adopted an interpretation of the battle that encompassed a much smaller area than is indicated by contemporary accounts. Historians believe his limited funds, coupled with landowners' demanding top dollar, influenced his interpretation. This misled researchers and historical groups who relied on his work; they placed historical monuments and markers in the wrong spots. It also hampered government efforts to acquire land or resist development in areas outside the original area designated as battleground by Schenck. Since his time, the expanding city of Greensboro approached and encircled the park with private development, destroying some battlefield areas. Today, the National Park Service has rejected Schenck's interpretation of the battle. It hopes to reconstruct the battlefield and its monuments to be consistent with historical evidence. But, areas outside the current park boundary have been developed privately. A revived Guilford Battleground Company supports preservation efforts for Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and nearby Tannenbaum Historic Park, where British forces assembled for their advance. The park is linked by a bicycle path to the adjoining Greensboro Country Park, and residents use both for jogging and cycling. They typically outnumber visitors' touring the battlefield.

Administrative history
The military park was established on March 2, 1917. It was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service August 10, 1933. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the military park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, when it was established.

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