(Chattanooga, Tenn.) – During the annual gathering of its members in Tennessee’s famous “River City” of Chattanooga, the Civil War Trust honored U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn with its National Preservation Leadership Award, recognizing her outstanding commitment to protecting America’s hallowed historic sites. The Civil War Trust is a nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to the protection of Civil War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlegrounds.
In close to 15 years in Congress, Rep. Blackburn – whose district includes the Shiloh and Franklin battlefields – has cultivated a strong record of safeguarding Tennessee’s unique cultural resources and supporting federal battlefield preservation legislation. Earlier this year, Rep. Blackburn secured House passage of the Shiloh National Military Park Boundary Adjustment Act (HR 88), a measure that would protect more than 2,000 acres of hallowed ground at the Davis Bridge, Russell House and Fallen Timbers battlefield sites. These areas played a pivotal role in the struggle for western Tennessee during the Civil War.
“Throughout her tenure, Rep. Blackburn has been a great friend to preservation, championing Tennessee’s historic treasures, and showing a true dedication to the storied lands that helped to shape the state and nation,” said Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer, who presented the award.
Since the inception of its preservation awards in 2001, the Trust has honored a wide variety of individuals and groups for their achievements in support of historic battlefield preservation. Previous winners include historians, scholars, National Park Service personnel, celebrities and even residential developers. Despite such disparate backgrounds, all have made unique and lasting contributions to historic preservation.
Rep. Blackburn was presented with a genuine wartime relic: a brass breastplate engraved with the Union Eagle and recovered on battlefield land in Franklin, Tennessee. A breastplate was standard issue for Union Army soldiers during the Civil War. It was worn on the front of the uniform, attached to a cartridge box strap that held the soldier’s cartridge box.
The Civil War Trust is a national nonprofit land preservation organization devoted to the protection of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the acquisition of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 46,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states, including 3,500 acres in Tennessee.
The Civil War Preservation Trust became the Civil War Trust in January 2011; the Civil War Trust became a division of the American Battlefield Trust in May 2018. Campaign 1776 was created in 2014 as an initiative of the Civil War Trust; in May 2018 it became the Revolutionary War Trust, a division of the American Battlefield Trust.