Preservationist, Public Relations Specialist, Political Consultant
Edwin C. Bearss Lifetime Achievement Award
Jerry Russell (1933-2003) was the national voice of the Civil War battlefield preservation movement – often a lone voice – before the creation of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites in 1987. Russell was an Arkansas public relations specialist and political consultant, but found his true calling in fighting the tide of battlefield-scarring development from the 1960s until his death in 2003. He co-founded the Civil War Round Table of Arkansas in 1964 and many others to follow. In 1968, he established Civil War Round Table Associates, serving as national chairman and editor of its newsletter. The brash and outspoken Russell used his publication as an often-acerbic, never-silent megaphone for preservation, urging its readers to write their senators, representatives and other public officials to fight the desecration of hallowed ground at battlefield after battlefield.