Meet Paul H. Herbert of Wheaton, Ill.
An interview with a Color Bearer member
"Battlefields saved, the Revolution and 1812 added, so many programs, digitization, outreach to youth and educators, focus now on the USCT, concern for the natural environments of battlefields, top rated on Charity Navigator...my kind of organization."
Color Bearer Paul H. Herbert
American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?
Paul: I've been walking old battlefields since the 1970s, including ones that were forgotten, neglected and threatened. I was so pleasantly surprised to discover that there was such a thing as the "Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites" that I signed right up.
What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?
The satisfaction that comes from seeing all the great work the Trust does and how it has grown and grown over the years. Battlefields saved, the Revolution and 1812 added, so many programs, digitization, outreach to youth and educators, focus now on the USCT, concern for the natural environments of battlefields, top rated on Charity Navigator...my kind of organization.
What is your favorite battlefield you’ve visited?
The 1864 Overland Campaign will always be my favorite. It was an origin of the modern American operational art for ground forces; it so powerfully illustrates Grant's generalship, and Lee's as well; and, through Grant, it was the military manifestation of the weary nation's will to finish "the great task before us" and bring about Lincoln's vision of government of, by and for the people. Hallowed ground.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Probably not to a battlefield, much as I love them. Probably to one of the pristine natural areas we also must preserve: Central America, Africa, Alaska.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Ulysses S. Grant. I grew up in Galena, Illinois, and was raised on Grant lore, but it took years of living and learning for me to begin to appreciate him. Like Lincoln, he seemed to be the right man at exactly the right time.
Anything else you want to share?
The United States is the product of centuries of struggle in which countless soldiers risked all that they had in the faith that their service was necessary. In order to remember and honor them, to learn from them, and to make our country better, we must try to understand them. That requires, among many other things, preserving the land where they fought.