The national group that raises money to buy and preserve U.S. battlefields said it added another 2,000 acres in 2017, bringing its 30-year total to over 48,000 acres of sacred land.

The Civil War Trust, which this year added Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields and historic places to its wish list, said that it has even more purchases planned for next year.

“These are outdoor classrooms that will teach future Americans about the democratic republic,” said Trust President Jim Lighthizer in a video report card.

The Trust has been instrumental in preserving the biggest Civil War battlefields including Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas.

And this year it began preserving some Revolutionary sites, including Fort Ann and Sackets Harbor in New York.

Donors also helped the Washington-based group build a thriving school outreach program that brought 4,500 children to battlefields this year.

In an email to donors, Lighthizer said, “Since the founding of the Civil War Trust, we have relied on donors like you to create a legacy of preserved hallowed ground for future generations. Throughout our history as an organization, each year has brought new and often daunting challenges as we race against time to save our historic battlegrounds. And every year, I am in awe of the commitment, generosity and fortitude of the members of this organization. I am deeply grateful to work with such outstanding individuals—from the board to the staff to our steadfast members and supporters. Our success is entirely due to you.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at