Meet Robert L. Hauck of Disputanta, Va.
An interview with a Color Bearer member
"My son and grandsons have visited The Crater on more than one occasion. Each time we talk about courage, loyalty, and leadership. Places like the crater at Petersburg, the Sunken Road at Antietam, and the high water spot at Gettysburg teach those lessons in a very personal, informative way."
Robert L. Hauck, Color Bearer
American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?
Robert: Some time ago, I visited Cold Harbor and Gaines Mill. What is preserved at Cold Harbor is great as far as it goes. Gaines Mill, at the time, not so much. At Cold Harbor it is easy to see how urban sprawl has crowded out important parts of the actual battle. Same thing at Gaines Mill. As I walked the ground at both sites, I wondered, what could be done to save more hallowed spaces? Then I somehow came across the Civil War Trust, now the American Battlefield Trust, and its efforts at preservation. I joined up knowing that multiple voices speak louder than one. I have not been disappointed.
What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?
Since I can’t travel much anymore, I really like the newsletter and special messages. They keep me well informed and make me feel part of the fight.
What is your favorite battlefield?
Difficult to pick one particular battlefield as my favorite. Gettysburg and Antietam are high on the list. My wife and I visited both on our honeymoon and have been back several times since. But if you pin me down and make me declare number one, it would be Petersburg. The huge mortar known as “the dictator” is a favorite spot. The best though is The Crater. Every now and then I go to the bottom and look up wondering how I would have behaved. Then I go to the top and look down and wonder the same. Both places are very sobering.
What would you like to pass on to future generations?
My son and grandsons have visited The Crater on more than one occasion. Each time we talk about courage, loyalty, and leadership. Places like the crater at Petersburg, the Sunken Road at Antietam, and the high water spot at Gettysburg teach those lessons in a very personal, informative way. Every generation should have the opportunity to learn those lessons on site.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Got lots of personalities I’d like to meet. But I guess today I would like to meet George Thomas, the rock of Chickamauga. He was a Virginian who stood by the old flag unlike that other Virginia gentleman Robert E. Lee. I would just listen and absorb the wisdom of General Thomas who was under enormous pressure at Chickamauga. I’d take notes on leadership as he talked about his actions in defense of Nashville. He was a real soldier doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.