(Washington, D.C.) - One hundred and fifty years ago, photographers like Alexander Gardner and Mathew Brady braved the bloody fields of battle to capture the carnage and grim reality of the American Civil War. These photographs, along with numerous others, played a pivotal role in shaping the public's perception of the war at the time and remain integral to its interpretation today.
In commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the conflict, the Civil War Trust, History™ and the Center for Civil War Photography (CCWP) are calling for submissions to the 2013 Civil War Photo Contest, a national competition promoting appreciation of America's Civil War heritage and the preservation of the country's hallowed ground. Now in its 18th year, the contest provides an opportunity for Civil War enthusiasts across the country explore these special places and possibly be rewarded for their efforts.
"Everyone wins with this contest," Trust president James Lighthizer said. "I encourage everyone to go out and explore America's hallowed ground - places now serving as sacred shrines to freedom. Each battlefield not only teems with scenic, pastoral beauty, but is an inexorable link to our past."
The contest invites amateur photographers to submit Civil War-related photos in five different categories:
• Civil War Battlefields, showcasing the solemn and scenic landscapes of these hallowed grounds;
• People on Civil War Battlefields, focusing on visitors' experience at the battlefields;
• Preservation Threats, highlighting dangers to America's Civil War battlefields and historic sites;
• Then and Now, contrasting early images of Civil War battlefields with the same sites today; and
• Civil War 1863, exploring battlefields and historic sites associated with the third year of war, including Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga and many more.
The Trust will present a total of 17 awards. The winner of each category will receive a plaque and complimentary one-year membership (or extension) to the Trust, while the Grand Prize winner will receive free registration to the organization's 2014 annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. Additionally, the winner of the "Then and Now" category will receive free registration to the CCWP annual Image of War seminar focusing on the Virginia Peninsula and scheduled for Oct. 10-12, 2013. Second- and third-place winners for each category will receive Civil War Trust Photo Contest 2013 plaques.
Trust members and other participants will select the People's Choice award from forty images chosen as finalists. The People's Choice award winner will receive a plaque and a one-year membership to the Trust. All winning images will be featured in Trust publications and on its website, www.civilwar.org.
This year, the Trust requires contestants to submit an entry form, providing contact information to help the Trust reach out to the winners. Participants must be amateur photographers at least 13 years old. The deadline for entries is Aug. 16. Individuals can submit an unlimited number of photographs, but each image will only be considered in one category. All contest submissions must be uploaded to the Trust's Flickr™ page, www.flickr.com/groups/cwpt. Users can obtain a free account at www.flickr.com. After uploaded, photos must be tagged to ensure their consideration in the correct category.
The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its goal is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 35,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.