It is nice having a bit of recognition and some extra perks along the way, but really I think the most important aspect is knowing that I am supporting preservation with an organization that is aggressive, forward-thinking, and passionate.
Darryl Smith, Color Bearer
Color Bearer Darryl Smith
American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?
Darryl: Living in Cincinnati, I attended my first Trust event in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010. I was not a member at the time, but enjoyed myself so much from both the family vibe, as well as enjoying the various events, that I became a Regimental Color Bearer. Hearing Mr. Lighthizer's challenge that weekend to save 50,000 acres, and hearing about the great rating from Charity Navigator, I knew it was an organization I could rally behind.
What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?
Difficult to pinpoint just one aspect. It is nice having a bit of recognition and some extra perks along the way, but really I think the most important aspect is knowing that I am supporting preservation with an organization that is aggressive, forward-thinking, and passionate.
What is your favorite battlefield you’ve visited?
Gettysburg is the “gateway drug" to introduce new tourists with its sweeping vistas an iconic monuments, so that one is a given. Perryville is fantastic for its pristine nature of the battlefield. Shiloh is remarkable for lost opportunities and rookie soldiers, Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge simply for their remoteness, Fort Donelson because it is still forgotten in the lexicon of the Civil War, Buffington Island for what might have been saved instead of lost to "progress,” and Chickamauga, for the confusion in mostly wooded terrain!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
There are numerous locations in the United States still for me to visit, and overseas. Germany, Switzerland, and Austria would be at the top of the list. Iceland as well.
What would you like to pass on to future generations?
Every acre of battlefield that can be saved is saved for the opportunities to learn about the deeds and the people that made those places sacred. Also, a piece of advice: dig deeper. Do not take our history at face value, but find something you are passionate about and keep plugging away until you find the core of the story. That is where the connections are made.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
My third great uncle, who was wounded at Chickamauga, so I could hear his tale about his life.
Anything else you want to share?
I would love to see more Western historians involved with the videos and site visits for Western theater battles. We have plenty of experts beyond the Allegheny Mountains who are very suitable to do tours and videos for the Trust. Beyond that, continue to move ahead, to save every acre, to keep the passion flowing.
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