Meet Dr. Rogers M. Fred III of Stevenson. Va.
An interview with a Color Bearer member
“What I enjoy most about being a Color Bearer is the simple knowledge and satisfaction of contributing to our ongoing, shared goal—preservation..”
Dr. Rogers M. Fred III, Color Bearer
American Battlefield Trust: What moved you to first give to our organization?
Rogers: I joined our predecessor organization, the APCWS, in the mid-1990s and have been a member ever since. My primary and still fundamental motivation for belonging and donating is the preservation and protection in perpetuity of the ground, the actual soil, where so much of our country‘s history was made.
What do you enjoy most about being a Color Bearer?
What I enjoy most about being a Color Bearer is the simple knowledge and satisfaction of contributing to our ongoing, shared goal—preservation. I also enjoy reading the Trust’s magazine, Hallowed Ground, and viewing videos and other content on the website.
What is your favorite battlefield?
My favorite battlefield is Antietam. I first visited there when I was five or six years old and have been hooked ever since. I am a volunteer Battlefield Ambassador there and a National Park Service certified battlefield guide as well.
What would you like to pass on to future generations?
The primary things to pass on to future generations are historical education and a more-than-superficial knowledge of our country‘s history as well as a deep appreciation of the physical spaces we have been able to preserve. That’s why being a volunteer and guide at Antietam is so rewarding. I get to engage in an educational endeavor as well as showing off one of our country’s premier historical sites.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Choosing an historical figure to meet is a nearly impossible task. There are so many to choose from. Growing up in the South though and hearing stories from my Grandfather, who knew many veterans of the war personally (he was a playmate and schoolmate of John Mosby‘s grandchildren and he even met the old Colonel a number of times), I have always been interested in some of the more colorful Confederate leaders. If I had to choose, I would like to speak to two of them, Stonewall Jackson and J. E. B. Stuart. I would be most interested in questioning them about their friendship. It’s hard to imagine two more different men but they enjoyed a deep and abiding relationship with one another and that has always fascinated me.
Anything else you want to share?
A final thought is how critically important the work of the American Battlefield Trust is in saving and preserving these sacred places before they are lost forever. Also, educating people, particularly young people, about how vital these places are and how relevant they remain to their lives today and the shape of our country.