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American Battlefield Trust

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Historical Organizations, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: Our Mission: The American Battlefield Trust preserves America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educates the public about what happened there and why it matters.

Results: More than 50,000 acres saved!

Target demographics: all Americans

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: The mission of the American Battlefield Trust: The preservation of America’s significant Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 battlefields by protecting the land, and educating the public about the vital roles those battlefields -- and the citizen-soldiers who fought upon them -- played in directing the course of our nation’s history. The American Battlefield Trust is the only national charitable organization in the country working to preserve historic land where the nation's "Founding First Century" wars were fought. The American Battlefield Trust and its predecessor organizations have been saving land since 1987; in total we have saved over 49,000 acres of land. In addition to saving hallowed ground, we also believe that there is a great need to educate the public about the importance of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. We are dedicated to interpreting the wars and their significant battles, and do so for teachers, students, and the public through technological resources and innovative methods such as our state-of-the-art website and Battle Apps®.

Community Stories

541 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 toddjburnett

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been making donations to the Civil War Trust (and its predecessors) for almost 25 years. Although we are avid Civil War enthusiasts, we are also passionate about saving the hallowed ground on which the brave men of that era fought and died for what they believed in. We know that the vast majority of our contributions to the Civil War Trust will be spent to purchase and improve these lands so that future generations may walk these same fields and gain a better understanding of this period of our history. The men and women of the Civil War Trust are the best possible advocates for saving battlefield property and have proven themselves to be excellent stewards of all donations they receive. We give to several charitable organizations and the Civil War Trust is the one we hold in highest esteem. If only all other charities were operated with such integrity and professionalism!

dmartin584

Donor

Rating: 5

In the modern era of the internet, who can you trust anymore? I will tell you, the American Battlefield Trust ! I have been a member since 2002 when it was the Civil War Preservation Trust and 2 years ago, I stepped up to the Color Bearer level. I have never been prouder of any decision that I have made as I have been with that one. I know that the money I give will go directly to the purchase of battlefield land removing it from development and restoring it to battlefield conditions. The only way to preserve our history is to buy it outright and take control. As I walk the battlefields I see the signs pointing out the land that was "saved by the Civil War Trust" in fields from Virginia to Chicamauga in Georgia, Perryville and Mill Springs in Kentucky, to Franklin and Stones River, TN. No engagement is too insignificant to be saved.

There are 2 very important aspects to saving the history of the Civil War for the next generation. One is preserving the land itself. No group is better at doing that than the Civil War Trust. The second is educating the future. Beyond battlefield preservation, the excellence of their website is a model in education for young and old. The classic battlefield maps and the new animated ones exhibit visual clarity of action. The mobile phone apps, give you a walking tour of the battlefield whether you are onsite or at home - you can walk the battlefield and see some locations in 360 degree views. You can hear the experts on video tours. They sponsor events to engage school children - the preservationists of tomorrow. All can be lost in only one generation that doesn't recognize the importance of our hallowed ground.

Chamberlain knew what was to come when he penned the words, "And reverent men and women from afar, generations that know us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them, shall come to this deathless field, to ponder and to dream … and the power of the vision shall pass into their souls.”

We must preserve the "vision place of souls" for the next generation. It is our duty, it is our obligation, it is our privilege. Be not afraid, join us!

D. Martin, Oregon

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been consistent supporters of the American Battlefield trust for many years. The work which they have done and will undoubtedly do cannot be valued in dollars and cents but in insuring our heritage, history and cultural roots are preserved to be shared for generations to come. They do this diligently, efficiently and tenaciously. Contributors are kept fully informed both generally and personally. This is selfless work done by committed and passionate people. We are proud to contribute and do so with zero reservations.

Jim Duffy

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I recently visited Antietam battlefield. The partnership of the Trust and others in the preservation of this unique and still relatively untouched area of our history is critical. The Battlefield Trust also through their mailings, gives donors a very transparent and crisp view of how their money will be used to save critical areas of American History. In today's divisive atmosphere, understanding our civil war, and its' huge price in terms of casualties should be a lesson every school child and Congressman should know!

Donor

Rating: 5

The American Battlefield Trust is truly exceptional in all that it does. My wife and I have been visiting Gettysburg several times a year since the 1990s, and we learned of the Trust's mission during the “No Casino” campaigns there. This led to our donating to the Trust and my involvement as a member and eventually a Color Bearer.

The Trust has led the way over several decades as the prominent force for preserving land where soldiers fought and died in the wars where our nation earned and maintained its independence. The Trust also makes its members aware and primed to take quick action whenever battlefields and other historic sites are threatened by housing developments, shopping malls, and suburban sprawl. The men and women of the Trust have also been excellent at hosting conferences and battlefield tours.

Furthermore, the Trust has played a crucial role in providing educational experiences for students. As a university professor (in criminal justice), education is not only about providing facts and assigning papers and exams, but taking students to places where important developments in the discipline occur (prisons, jails, police stations, courtrooms) and have as guest speakers people who are well known in the field. As a result, students can learn, in a “hands-on” manner, the significance of the work that such individuals perform. When applying this analogy to history, students can get a more direct sense of what happened in the American Civil War, Revolutionary War, or War of 1812 by going to the battlefields–going beyond what they can read about in books or see on television or the Internet. Also, students can better understand the meaning of preserving hallowed ground.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to the American Battlefield Trust for nearly 25 years, since it was known as the Civil War Battlefield Trust. As a student of the Civil War I believe it especially important to preserve the historic lands where this history was made. Reading history is good but walking the ground where history was made is priceless. As the years have passed I have only increased my level of financial support of ABT's preservation efforts. I applaud their action to expand to preserve battle sites of the War of 1812 and the Revolution. Once these lands are lost to development they are gone forever and our ability to understand how our country was created and built will be forever diminished.

Donor

Rating: 4

I have been a donor for more than 20 years, and am a big supporter of ABT (formerly, CWPT). Over the years, they have saved battlefields large and small that are critical to our nation's history. In particular, ABT's work on the battlefields of Gettysburg and Fredericksburg has been ongoing and persistent--and noteworthy. They do so in a very cost efficient manner, so that very little of my donation goes to ABT's overhead.

Donor

Rating: 5

We donate to the American Battlefield Trust because it is important to our future to preserve history so we can discuss it and its impact on the US. The Trust saves core battlefield land and helps interpret it. Actually being on the site of a battle is an experience that cannot be obtained from just reading a book or seeing it on the web.

The Trust creates multimedia experiences that dramatize facets of the battles and are very memorable. Each IN 4 video provides a presentation about one subject and are quite informative. The Civil War in 30 minutes presentation with an animated map provides a great overview. But the best media to me are the virtual tours of the battlefields. What a help when visiting! The web site is well worth exploring to see all the resources available.

It is important to us that our gifts are used wisely. The Trust excels at that. It obtains matching funds so our gifts go farther and it has a low overhead.

John Cleckner and Vikki Seitz

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been contributing to the ABT and it's predecessor organizations for many years. I believe so strongly in this organization and it's mission. I contribute throughout the year via the Combined Federal Campaign and as needed for special critical time sensitive campaigns. The work these folks do is near-legendary. The magazine they produce is superb and award winning. Their website is an incredible educational resource, and I use their maps incessantly when reading or studying the various American battlefields. As a freedom-loving American, I am so grateful and thankful to the men and women of the ABT for their hard work. They are highly rated by charity watchdogs and they will continue to have my support!!

Donor

Rating: 5

I found the American Battlefield Trust while doing an online search for Civil War sites, and I am so fortunate to have found this Charity. Their website is first rate, and it contains important information about the battlefields of the Civil War, The War of 1812, and The Revolutionary War. The site also lays out the different lands that the Trust is presently trying to save, and it encourages givers to participate in these causes. I've been very happy with the detailed maps the Trust provides that highlight the targeted acreage within the context of the greater battlefields. Most of all, I'm so glad to know there is a community of history buffs out there who care about saving this country's most important sites! As a Johnny Reb supporter from Texas, I can say it's all the more important in the current climate to preserve our history.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a Color Bearer with American Battlefield Trust and back to Civil War Trust and before that APCWS. I have always as a kid loved reading non fiction civil war books. I started going to civil war reenactment in Bentonville NC years ago. Then I started visiting the Civil War battlefields. I was distressed that the battlefields were getting gobbled up by the commercial sector.
I found the APCWS years ago from a civil war friend. So I started sending in money to preserve this land that our soldiers fought on. Its a shame to turn any civil war, revolutionary war or 1812 into a strip mall or condos. Since a lot of the remains of soldiers back then weren't recovered the battlefields are known as hollowed ground. I have steadily increased my membership and giving to every donation of land needing to be saved.
What I like about the ABT family is that we are all dedicated to save the land, educate the public and supporting teachers on our American history. The ABT are very good stewards of our money. So the money I give will go directly to saving acres of land on the battlefields. Its important to give because it preserves our history, preserves the battlefield forever so that everyone can enjoy the land.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a Number One Fan of the ABT for easily a decade now. And I have contributed as generously as possible in each of those years to assist the Trust in accomplishing its worthy and impressive targeted acquisition goals. In my view, there is no other not-for-profit which better accomplishes, effectively and immediately, the mission which it sets out to implement. And Jim Lighthizer, whom I have known and respected for decades now, is the best and most articulate leader anywhere.

Lawrence Peterson

Donor

Rating: 5

The American Battlefield Trust has my trust! Operating incredibly lean, the vast majority of donations go directly to saving battlefield land: so far over 50,000 acres. Not a lot of talk, just quietly preserving hallowed ground. Please join us!

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

The CWT is an outstanding organization! Extremely well managed, while accepting that there is some cost of doing business, it sticks to spending the overwhelming majority of income on purchasing Civil War battlefield land, which is its primary mission. As a Brigade Color Bearer almost since its founding (honoring my GG Grandfather who was a Confederate Brigadier General) I strongly recommend this organization to anyone with interest in the Civil War and/or american history. Larry Peterson

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Donor

Rating: 5

One of the greatest non-profits I donate to. Can you imagine a Walmart on hallowed ground where soldiers sacrificed their lives for our country? Thanks to the American Battlefield Trust, i do not have to anymore. Hundreds of thousands of acres of land have been saved FOREVER, so that future generations can live their history. They provide so many stories, rich histories and maps of every battlefield they helped save. Their quarterly magazine is so informative, I cannot wait for each issue to arrive. I have been a member for almost 20 years and have watched the amazing work the team at ABT does each and every day. I could not recommend ABT more highly!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Trust for over 15 years. It is vital we protect this land for future generations to remember the sacrifices of all of the participants. The Trust is instrumental in protecting this land. Wether negotiating a great deal on sacred land or blocking a casino from destroying historic sites, the Civil War Trust is always taking advatange of every opportunity. I cannot recommend this group enough!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have proudly supported this worthwhile endeavor for over three years and currently as a color bearer. I believe in the vision of this organization as it's main purpose is to remember the valor and courage of the men and women who fought for the great ideal of freedom. I am proud to support the ABT.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am pleased with the efforts of the American Battlefield Trust. My personal goal is to preserve history (especially ACW history) through preserving the battlefields and to preserve or reclaim green land from development (especially in urban areas). The education services the trust provides is a bonus.

I have visited many of the sites the trust has helped preserve and appreciate the perspective that preserved land gives me when viewing and walking a battlefield. One of my activities is to map out troop movements, choose a unit, then walk where those troops marched and fought after rereading their history at that battle. The trust's preservation efforts have increased the land I can walk, thus the pleasure I receive from my visit.

I think the preservation and reclamation of green space is important as towns and cities grow, especially east of the Mississippi River (I reside in NM). I believe green space is essential for mental-spiritual health of all people.

I have so far been unable to attend the trust's donor events, so I cannot speak to the benefits of the historians and battlefield tours the trusts makes available.

I appreciate the education services the trust provides to students. History is an important foundation for a person in how they define themselves. Understanding of where we as a culture/country came from expands our understanding of what goes on today.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is one of the best, most professionally run nonprofits in America. From their informative newsletters and magazine, to the multiple annual conferences, and of course the efforts to preserve hallowed battle grounds, this group uses every dollar wisely and efficiently to accomplish it’s stated goals. I’m proud to be associated with such a dedicated group and a small part of this important preservation effort.
Will Garner

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been totally satisfied with the American Battlefield Trusts in 2018, in their steadfast approach and dynamic campaign to bothpreserve our nations hallowed grounds across three wars that shaped our young republic, and to do so in modern ways that strive to rengage our youth in that history of honor, valor and sacrifice. One of my top three lifetime charities...

Donor

Rating: 5

The American Battlefield Trust is only one of 4 charities that I contribute to on a regular and continuing basis. They have proven to me to be an outstanding steward of the donations that I make as they do what they promise to do, and that is save American battlefields from the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. I consider the American Battlefield Trust to be one the the best run and managed non-profits in the United States today.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter since the APCWS days, better than thirty years. 50,000 acres of hallowed American battlefields have been saved. This organization is masterful at getting the most from both private and governmental sources to maximize their impact. I have gone to Washington to lobby my home state delegation for battlefield preservation legislation at this group’s behest. I believe they are the premier historical preservation organization in the country.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been interested in Civil War history since I was a small boy, for over fifty years. During that time I have seen many historic sites that I visited as a young man, Civil War and earlier, fall prey to the bulldozer and development, and be lost or changed forever. Many of these sites were, at one time, isolated and rural, but the march of "progress" has placed them in the path of development. Realizing that much of our history was being lost, I made a decision to become involved in the CW historic preservation movement. I first became associated with Civil War Trust through one of its predecessors, the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, and have continued my support through Civil War Trust.

I consider the Trust to be the most valuable preservation tool we have. They have developed a network of support and co-operation with other land and historic preservation groups. Working alone or in tandem with these like minded groups, this organization has preserved thousands of acres of historic property in all major theaters of the war and in numerous states. They have been an invaluable resource here in Tennessee in the preservation of individual battlefields but also in adding additional historic resources to existing state and national parks.

I financially support numerous historic preservation organizations but the largest single donation my circumstances allow goes to the Civil War Trust.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was moved to contribute to what was then the Civil War Trust about fifteen years ago after visiting the Wilderness and Spotsylvania battlefields with a friend who is very knowledgeable about the Civil War. That visit, and his enthusiastic opinion about the Trust, led me to join. I take great pleasure about being a member and having a part in the effort to preserve the sites of our nation's battles -- at first those of the Civil War, but now those of all of our wars -- for the edification of future generations. The Trust works with landowners and governments to return the landscape to a close simulation of what it was at the time of the battle. This not only serves an educational purpose, it creates parklike places for public enjoyment. I expect to remain a member of the Trust for the rest of my life and to contribute generously to support the Trust's efforts.