In the spirit of that great truism that “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” you here is a collection of 30 images — including rare gems from the Trust archives — that tell the remarkable story of our efforts and achievements across the past 30 years. Be reminded of the role you personally have played in protecting America’s hallowed ground.
(30 photos in gallery)
American Battlefield Trust
APCWS founders Will Greene, Bob Krick, Gary Gallagher and Denis Frye on the Antietam Battlefield in June 1988.
Grove Farm, Antietam
Threats to the Grove Farm prompted the founding of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation and earned the battlefield a spot on the first National Trust for Historic Preservation's "11 Most Endangered" list. Eventual protection of the land marked the first cooperative effort involving both APCWS and the original Civil War Trust.
During the Trust's 25th anniversary in 2012, the organization honored the "Lone Wolves" whose word predated the national preservation movement. Jim Lighthizer (center) poses with Tersh Boasberg, Cricket Bauer (wife of the late Brian Pohanka), Bud Hall and Ed Wenzel.
Bud Hall at Brandy Station Battlefield
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, a host of development threats emerged at the Brandy Station Battlefield, most of which were successfully defeated. Historian Bud Hall shows a Trust-protected parcel that had once been slated for a Formula One racetrack
Road through the fields of Bentonville
With more than 45 individual transactions closed – and nearly all transferred to the state park – Bentonville, N.C., is arguably the battlefield where the Trust has been most active.
Wheatfield at Malvern Hill
Exceptional Trust-led preservation efforts at Glendale and Malvern Hill – the final two of the Seven Days‘ Battles outside Richmond in 1862 – have resulted in 1,632 acres of protected land, compared to only 131 acres acquired independently by the National Park Service.
Morris Island in Charleston Harbor, which witnessed the famous charge of the 54th Massachusetts depicted in the film Glory, was threatened by both commercial and residential development, despite public opposition. Blake Hallman who led the charge against these forces, went on to serve on the Charleston City Council, helping plan sesquicentennial commemorations.
White Oak Road Battlefield Marker
While APCWS had accepted donations of battlefield land previously, three small properties at White Oak Road, Va., constituted the organization's first outright purchases during the summer and fall of 1989.
Mary Ellen Withrow and Matt Andrews
Civil War Trust
Matt Andrews, president of the original Civil War Trust, and U.S. Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow unveil designs for commemorative Civil War coins to raise funds for battlefield preservation at the 133rd anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, Ky., in January 1994.
Stones River National Battlefield
The Trust often works with parks to move quickly when a high-priority property becomes available. Stones River National Battlefield holds the distinction of inspiring the smallest parcel in our land records: a 0.12-acre tract acquired at public auction.
Manuel Lujan and Ed Bearss
As secretary of the interior from 1989 to 1993, Manuel Lujan (left) oversaw creation o f the American Battlefield Protection Program and issuance of the Report of the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission. In 2006, he received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award – named for the man who had served as his NPS chief historian, Edwin C. Bearss.
View from The Coaling
Civil War Trust
The view from atop the commanding heights of The Coaling at Port Republic, Va. Accepting donation of this property marked the first “victory” for the new APCWS.
Widow Pence Farm at Cross Keys
Purchasing the Widow Pence Farm at Virginia’s Cross Keys Battlefield during a public auction in June 2000 was a major turning point for the newly merged CWPT. It united the membership and, significantly, marked the first use of our now-signature battle maps in a direct-mail appeal.
Fort Steadman at Petersburg
Through the end of 2016, the Trust had protected more than 2,500 acres associated with the 10-month siege of Petersburg, Va., but nearly 80 percent of that land was outside the authorized boundary of Petersburg National Battlefield. However, after many years of advocacy by the Trust and other conservation groups, Congress voted to expand the park boundary, meaning this important land can become the property of the American people.
Brice’s Cross Roads
With 789 acres protected by APCWS in 1996, Mississippi’s Brice’s Cross Roads was one of battlefield preservation’s first great victories outside the war’s Eastern Theater sites.
No Casino Gettysburg
Civil War Trust
Susan Paddock of No Casino Gettysburg with the National Park Conservation Association’s Alan Spears and CWPT’s Mary Koik gathering petition signatures among parade attendees on Remembrance Day 2006.
Ellwood in the Wilderness
In 2008, Walmart filed plans in Orange County, Va., to build a supercenter on the Wilderness Battlefield, less than a mile from the iconic structure at Ellwood. Faced with a lawsuit filed by local activists, Walmart chose to “do the right thing” and find an alternate site nearby.
Governor Bob McDonnell and the Trust
With a 2010 bill signing at the Jackson’s Flank Attack site, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell created the first state-level matching grant program for battlefield preservation, and bestowed the first funding to the Trust.
Ed Bearss at the Veterans for Gettysburg Press Conference
A protected battlefield is a monument, not just to the men who fought on that particular piece of ground, but to all those who have answered America’s call to military service. The Trust actively seeks to create connections between the preservation and military communities
Civil War Trust Battle App®
Civil War Trust
The Trust’s Battle App® guides – GPS-enabled mobile battlefield tours – combine outstanding interpretation and cutting-edge technology to bring history alive in preciously unimagined ways.
Campaign 150: Our Time Our Legacy
When it was announced by then-Trustees Henry Simpson and Trace Adkins, alongside Gettysburg NMP superintendent Bob Kirby and historian James McPherson, Campaign 150: Our Time Our Legacy had a goal of raising $40 million. By the time the sesquicentennial ended, it had cleared $52.5 million.
No Casino Gettysburg Billboard
Civil War Trust
A second casino proposal in Gettysburg that emerged in 2011 bitterly divided the community. Savvy advocacy, including the use of social media and digital techniques, won the day for preservationists.
The Civil War Trust acquires 500 acres at Shiloh
Civil War Trust
Virtually 150 years to the minute after the Battle of Shiloh began, Jim Lighthizer announced a major fundraising effort to save nearly 500 acres there, the largest addition to the national park since its creation in 1894.
Launching Campaign 1776
The launch of Campaign 1776 on Veterans Day 2014 began a whole new era of battlefield preservation, with the Trust bringing its unique expertise and abilities to the aid of the critically threatened battlefields of America’s first century.
Saunders Field at the Wilderness
During the Civil War sesquicentennial, the Department of the Interior made it a priority to secure funding for inholding properties at National Park Service battle sites. Among those accepted for transfer from the Trust on the relevant battle’s anniversary was a 49-acre parcel at Saunders Field at the Wilderness.
Floral Field at Perryville
With more than 1,000 acres now saved through Trust-led efforts, the Perryville Battlefield is largely substantively complete. Moreover, the state has made significant headway reintroducing native plant species to 625 acres of Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, which will, in turn, encourage populations of native birds and other animals to return.
Kelly’s Ford, Virginia
Civil War Trust
In 2012, the Trust placed a conservation easement on 965 acres at Kelly‘s Ford, Va. the largest single property the group has ever protected.
Then & Now: Hallowed Ground
Development on the Manassas Battlefield was a major flashpoint in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It dominated Volume 1, Issue 1 of APCWS’s Hallowed Ground newsletter and went all the way to the halls of Congress. A controversial legislative taking saved Stuart’s Hill and helped keep the park an island of green. It also inspired federal infrastructure to support and fund battlefield preservation.
Then & Now: Gettysburg
Lynn Light Heller
Removal of the commercial buildings surrounding Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Headquarters, the most ambitious landscape restoration project in Trust history, was completed in late 2016.
Then & Now: Chancellorsville
Jamie Betts Photo
In July 2002, CWPT “went to war” against a developer who sought to build 2,350 residences and 2.4 million square feet of commercial space on hallowed ground at Chancellorsville. The plan sparked massive community outcry, including hundreds of protestors at a candlelight vigil in the now outside a county board of supervisors meeting. The Coalition to Save the Chancellorsville Battlefield ultimately brokered a win-win-solution and, in 2006, the Trust’s 215-acre First Day at Chancellorsville battlefield park opened to the public.
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