Meet Larry Peterson of Evergreen, Colo.
An interview with a Color Bearer member
“We must continue to preserve battlefield land in order to maintain our history in spite of those who would like to change it. Walking on battlefield land is the best way to get some of that history across to those following us.”
Larry Peterson, Color Bearer
American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?
Larry: In doing initial research for my biography of my Great-Great-Grandfather, Confederate Brigadier General Alfred J. Vaughan Jr., I stumbled onto the then Civil War Preservation Trust. Attending conferences led me to historians helpful to my work. Deciding to upgrade my support by becoming a Color Bearer, I received a call from then President Jim Lighthizer; something no other organization had ever done! I continue to be impressed with the management of the Trust’s funds and the dedication of the staff, knowing that my donations are going directly to preserving battlefield land.
What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?
The ability to provide the ABT with a bit of money which can be put to use wherever necessary to continue the mission of purchasing battlefield property and provide interpretation of the various sites. Also hanging with folks with similar dedication is a real joy.
What is your favorite battlefield you have visited?
A number of Western Theater battlefields are among my favorites, but if I had to pick only one it would be Kennesaw Mountain NBP. While admittedly I favor it because my great-great-grandfather defended the Dead Angle on Cheatham Hill during that battle, this particular location most vividly depicts the tremendous impact terrain has upon a battle. Standing there, one quickly realizes why the uphill assault by Sherman’s soldiers was so likely doomed to fail.
What would you like to pass on to future generations?
We must continue to preserve battlefield land in order to maintain our history in spite of those who would like to change it. Walking on battlefield land is the best way to get some of that history across to those following us. Interpretation of these battles goes hand in hand with preservation. Also, examples such as Franklin and Murfreesboro indicate that battlefields deemed lost can be resurrected: don’t give up!
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
With out a doubt, I would enjoy a conversation with Abraham Lincoln. As unlikely as his opponent to win the war, I would love to discuss his eventual successful handling of it.
Anything else you want to share?
As coeditor and an author of multiple books of the Command Decisions in America’s Civil War series, I work daily to see that our citizens remain knowledgeable about the Civil War, as well as all the others. I am so pleased with the continuing efforts of David and the team by interpreting our battlefield lands. But first we need to preserve them!