(Nashville, Tenn.) - During the culminating banquet of the Civil War Trust's 2014 annual conference in Nashville, Tenn., organization president James Lighthizer recognized excellence in the battlefield protection movement by presenting three of the group's annual preservation awards.
"The individuals and organizations we honor this evening represent some of the greatest achievements in the preservation community," Lighthizer said. "With their help, we remain steadfast in our mission to save America's battlefields, while promoting awareness and greater appreciation for these pivotal places in our nation's history."
Since their inception in 2001, the Trust has honored a wide variety of individuals and groups for their achievements in preserving endangered Civil War battlefields with its Preservation Awards. Previous winners include historians, scholars, National Park Service personnel, celebrities and even residential developers. Despite such disparate backgrounds, all have given unique and lasting contributions to historic preservation. The 2014 Preservation Awards presented in Nashville were:
State Leadership Award:The Trust awarded the State Leadership Award to Steve McDaniel, deputy speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. McDaniel has long been the driving force behind the protection of the Parker's Cross Roads Battlefield in his home district and the creation of a state park to preserve the site. More recently, he spearheaded the creation of a state-level matching grant program to protect and interpret sites associated with the Civil War and the Underground Railroad.
Brian Pohanka Preservation Organization of the Year Award: This award was named after the late Brian Pohanka, an outstanding historian and one of the founders of the modern battlefield preservation movement. In 2014, the Trust recognized the City of Franklin Battlefield Preservation Commission, a municipal advisory board comprised of representatives from an array of the area's robust preservation community, for its continuing role in making the protection and promotion of Franklin's historic resources a civic priority.
Civil War Discovery Trail Site of the Year Award: The Trust named Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, Tenn., as the top destination on the Civil War Discovery Trail for 2014. The Battle of Stones River, fought December 31, 1862 - January 3, 1863, was a strategic Union victory that buoyed Northern spirits following the failure of grand offensives in Virginia (Fredericksburg) and Mississippi (Chickasaw Bayou). Earlier this year, the Trust was able to purchase a small but key property adjacent to the park before it was due to go up for auction.
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, it has preserved more than 38,500 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including more than 3,200 in Tennessee. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.