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Meet John Lutes of Dawsonville, Ga.

An interview with a Color Bearer member

"The acknowledgement of my level as a contributor of course is nice to see in print; but I hope what it really does is galvanize others who have the same passion to contribute and to strive to grow to a higher level of commitment!"

John Lutes, Color Bearer

Color Bearer John Lutes
Color Bearer John Lutes

American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?

John: As my sons moved on to college and more free time was available, I took that first battlefield trip to Chickamauga which is about 2 hours away.  A book caught my eye at the bookstore that was essentially a multi hour walking tour of Longstreet's Breakthrough.  Getting out of the car, walking the fields, seeing the monuments and connecting with what happened there; I realized that I wanted an opportunity to help preserve land which future generations could connect with as I had that day.  Doing my research focusing on ensuring my donations would be well used, the ABT was an easy choice!  A rich history of preservation and ambitious goals that I could work with to make a difference.

What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?

The acknowledgement of my level as a contributor of course is nice to see in print; but I hope what it really does is galvanize others who have the same passion to contribute and to strive to grow to a higher level of commitment!  I'm proud to see my name there, but only because it's what is behind that, which is preservation of hallowed grounds   

What is your favorite battlefield?

So many choices! I've had the opportunity to go to most of the majors, although I'm biased to the Western theater fields.  I'll go with Chickamauga as it's my backyard battlefield and I've connected with local historians who help bring it alive to me every visit.  

What would you like to pass on to future generations?  

Our younger generations have so many distractions anymore and choices with what to do with their time.  What I can do is to help preserve land that I can only hope that there are a few more like me that will go out like I did, hear the guns, and commit to preservation.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?

There was a time I thought that meeting figures such as Grant, Lee, Jackson or Sherman would be most interesting.  What I've come to realize is that meeting that Ohio farm boy or that same farm boy from South Carolina is what I'd like the most. Those were the boys that sacrificed the most, their stories would be most interesting.