Meet Peter Bowe and Barbara Stewart from Chicago, IL

A testimonial from Color Bearer members

[The American Battlefield Trust] serves a vital role ... [i]t helps our country remember its history by bringing to life those seminal personalities that the books just talk about.

Peter Bowe, Color Bearer


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

Peter Bowe at the Cupola at the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum

Peter: We believe that America does occupy a special place in world history. In a relatively brief period of time, our forebears created a new country out of whole cloth which changed not just the destiny of our continent, but that of much of the world— for the better.

To get there we had to pull ourselves apart and put the pieces back together via the Civil War. We need to preserve the legacy of those heroes who accomplished that feat. The Civil War Trust, now known as the American Battlefield Trust, serves a vital role in fulfilling that goal. It helps our country remember its history by bringing to life those seminal personalities that the books just talk about. 

What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?

Without doubt, meeting the other people who are involved— whether the donors or the staff or the resources. All of them are wonderful and interesting and kind and accomplished—and of course knowledgeable.

What is your favorite battlefield you’ve visited?

Would it be a cliche to say Gettysburg? The connection between Killer Angels and the topography and the names we all know is so vivid.

Barbara Stewart, Gen. Lee, and Garry Adelman at Gettysburg

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Actually we both have been lucky enough to travel most anywhere over the course of our lives mainly for business but also for fun. As a student of history, for Peter the Roman world all around the Mediterranean is a favorite. What they built that stills endures, whether ports or aqueducts or roads, is a testament to their amazing discipline and world view, as well as surprising technical prowess. Let’s talk arches and concrete!! And though few actual battlefields remain, there are plenty of ancient coins that I collect celebrating actual historical figures and battles won.

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

Great dinner conversation question! Other than the obvious choices of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.....

How about Stephen Douglas. How did he feel about the fact that the man he beat for Senate in 1858 just two years later beat him for president? As Douglas died in 1861, what does he now think about Lincoln’s legacy?

Or Gen Armistead who died at Pickett’s charge. “Armistead” is my middle name!