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Civil War Trust Announces Winners of National Civil War Photography Competition

Annual contest encourages amateur photographers to capture the haunting beauty of America’s Civil War battlefields and historic shrines

(Washington, D.C.) – For the 18th year, the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting America’s Civil War battlefields, is pleased to announce the winners of its annual photography contest, cosponsored by History™ and the Center for Civil War Photography (CCWP).

“This year’s participants continued the contest’s long-standing tradition of truly capturing the essence of America’s hallowed ground,” said Trust president James Lighthizer.  “Civil War battlefields are sacred sites that serve as inextricable links to our country’s past. Each entry commemorates and honors the brave soldiers who fought and fell on these bloody fields of battle 150 years ago.”

Photography and the Civil War will be forever linked, thanks to the work of artists like Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, who made the four-year conflict the first to be extensively documented by photojournalists. Today’s photographers relied on modern technology to capture hundreds of haunting and beautiful images commemorating the Civil War, submitting their digital images online through the photo-sharing website

A record-breaking number of entries in this year’s contest left judges with the difficult task of selecting a Grand Prize winner, as well as first- through third-place awards in five categories. Contest categories include Sesquicentennial – 1863, which features photos of Civil War battlefields and sites associated with the third year of the Civil War; People on Civil War Battlefields, focusing on visitors young and old enjoying their time on the battlefield; Preservation Threats, illustrating the grave threats faced by many Civil War battlefields and historic sites; Civil War Battlefields, featuring the most scenic stills of these sacred sites; and Then and Now, contrasting early images of Civil War battlefields with the same sites today. A People’s Choice winner was also selected through an online voting competition from September 26 – October 17, 2013.

Buddy Secor of Stafford, Va., won the 2013 Annual Photography Contest’s Grand Prize for his photo, “Slaughter Pen Farm,” a striking depiction of this hallowed ground saved by the Civil War Trust on the outskirts of Fredericksburg, Va. Secor, a familiar face in the competition, also won the Grand Prize in the 2012 contest. He will receive complimentary registration to the Trust’s 2013 Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

"I love shooting Civil War battlefields,” Secor said. “I live in Northern Virginia with many to visit, and I enjoy taking photos in the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Manassas battlefields. I very much enjoyed touring and photographing Gettysburg, especially on Little Round Top at sunset.”

All category honorees will receive plaques commemorating the award, and their photographs will appear in various Trust print and digital media.  First-place winners will also receive a one year membership or membership extension in the organization. The full list of winners is below:

Civil War Battlefields: Tommy Kays of Richland, Mo., for “Sunset (Shiloh)”; Tad Sattler of East Hampton, Conn., for “Daybreak Fog (Antietam)”; and Paula Mansfield of Kearneysville, W.Va., for “Winding Road (Antietam)”.

People on Civil War Battlefields: Mike Talplacido of Clear Lake, Texas, for “Port Jefferson, Texas”; Jessie Mae Kanagie of Schwenksville, Pa., for “Field Glasses”; Carl Staub of Lakewood, Ohio, for “Third Hardy Troupe of Ruffians”; and Buddy Secor of West Memphis, Ark., for “1860s Meets 1950s”.

Preservation Threats: Matthew Huntley of Richmond, Va., for “Marye’s Heights, Fredericksburg”; Buddy Secor of West Memphis, Ark., for “Pelham’s Corner”; and Ron Zanoni of Chester Springs, Pa., for “Franklin – Carter Garden”.

Sesquicentennial – 1863: Shenandoah Sanchez of Zapata, Texas, for “Meade Statue at Night”; Mike Talplacido of Clear Lake, Texas, for “Gettysburg – Double Rainbow”; Dane Reves of Springfield, Va., for “Chattanooga – Lookout Mountain”.

Then & Now: Larry Kasperek of Bay Village, Ohio, for “Pike Dead Insert”; Shenandoah Sanchez of Zapata, Texas, for “Manassas”; and Britt Isenberg of Gettysburg, Pa., for “Veteran’s Rock”.

People’s Choice: Tad Sattler of East Hampton, Conn., for “Confederate Color Guard at Antietam”.

Winning images can be viewed online at  To browse all of the images submitted to the contest, visit the Trust’s page on Flickr,  Additional images will be added to this group throughout the year, and information on how to enter the 2014 contest will be available this spring.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.  To date, the Trust has preserved more than 36,000 acres of battlefield in 20 states.  Learn more at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.