History and the National Park System Before 1972 America's interest in preservation and commemoration of the past has been traced back to the early days of the republic when monuments commemorating George Washington and his Revolutionary War companiQns were established. 1 .The commemorative impulse intensified with the Civil War. Less than a year after the battle of Gettysburg and many months before Appomattox, Pennsylvania chartered the Gettysburg Memorial Association to oversee the preservation of the battlefield and the national cemetery established on it. In the next decades, the major battlefields of

. the Civil War became the objects of organized preservation efforts and near the end of the nineteenth century, the Chickamauga-Chattanooga, Shiloh, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg battlefields became National Military Parks under the management of the U.S. Army.