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Civil War Trust

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Our Mission: Preservation of America's battlefields by protecting the land and educating the public about the vital roles those battlefields played in directing the course of our nation's history.

Results: Over 43,000 acres saved to date!

Target demographics: all Americans

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: The mission of the Civil War 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 Civil War 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 Civil War Trust and its predecessor organizations have been saving land since 1987; in total we have saved over 43,000 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 Civil War. We are dedicated to interpreting the War and its 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

23 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!

John406

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust does, and always has, exactly what its mission statement says. They save the ground and surrounding where are nation came to death grips with itself. Any non-profit that does that deserves our support, Currently, I am unable to contribute as much as I would like, but the Civil War Trust is worthy of every dime you can muster.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a grandfather of 6 it gives comfort knowing an organization such as the Civil War Trust exists. I have donated to many of their campaigns which preserve our history for the future generations, without an organization such as this I believe our history would perish
I also make yearly plans to participate in th Trusts Park Days, another noble way of protecting our past and future, by far one of the best organization's around.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a retired physician whose grandfather fought at Vicksburg in the Civil War, thus my initial interest in this portion of our country's history. I have been a contributor to the Trust since its inception. The Trust has been the most efficiently run, trustworthy organization it has ever been my privilege to support. I know that every penny I contribute will be fully & properly utilized. I have been a regimental contributor for about 5 years, and will continue my support as long as I can.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust is one of my favorite nonprofits. I have been a member for a number of years and continue to be pleased with the dedication of the staff to historic preservation and with the excellent communications received from the CWT. Supporting the CWT allows donors to preserve our country's history, preserve open space for future generations, and gain access to in-depth information about the Civil War. I also applaud the CWT for undertaking a separate effort to preserve battlefields of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Keep up the good work.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the most helpful things the Trust does is keep its donors very current on the status of the results of their donations. Each donation is to a specific project and we know when an action has been taken on the project. This really encourages donors to stay active in the effort on future projects. We know when our efforts have succeeded.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Civil War Trust for 8 years and have contributed to over 100 initiatives to save Battlefields and preserve our Heritage. The results, while unique to saving and preserving this particular history, are exemplary for any charitable organization. The goals, achievements, and involved staff are extraordinary.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust has been part of our giving for 7 years. We have contributed to over 70 history saving initiatives. The Trust has faithfully and efficiently focused on preserving this essential part of our Heritage. The Civil War Trust is the single best way to save these hallowed fields.

Read more

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a contributor for more than 10 years both for specific battlefield purchase opportunities and as a color guard member. I make these contributions knowing that the money goes to the intended purpose and not to "professional" fundraisers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I inherited my father's fascination with the battles, personalities and politics of the Civil War at a formative age. Supplemented by extraordinary history teachers in my middle and high school years, I developed a profound connection to the war, the time period and the masterworks of historians to capture all the complexities of an all-encompassing war. I don't know why it is important to save the places where these tragic events took place, but I do know what I feel when I visit them. That feeling engages me in honoring their lives, contextualizing my life and times, and continuing the work to form a more perfect union.

The Civil War Trust, better than any other organization, not only saves these special places but invests in those of our generation connecting this history to the next. Their excellent communications expands my knowledge of the war while showing my value and effectiveness as a member of the Civil War Trust team. I look forward to continuing this work with the Civil War Trust for many decades to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank God there are people who are willing to devote time and money resources to preserving our nation's heritage.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a well managed charity that truly cares about preserving the history of this country. They also take the time to get to know their members.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been involved with the Civil War Trust and its predecessor group for about 20 years. Throughout, we have been thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and dedication of the entire organization and especially of its leadership and staff. Most importantly, the CWT is a careful steward of the donors' contributions and especially dedicated to maximizing each dollar by finding matching funding.

This is an organization of which we are very proud to be a part.

Bill and Joyce Vincent

Blake3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CWT is truly an founded on and devoted to the larger public interest. Dedicsted to educating and informing U.S. citizens and indeed a worldwide audience about the American Civil War through the identification and preservation of, and informataive public access to civil war battlefields across the U.S. Events during the civil war period did more to shape and define the United States as we know it today than any period since the American Revolution. CWT's absolute focus on understanding and appreciating this part of our history is unique, laudable and totally dvvoted to hte greater public good.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of the Civil War Trust since September of 1998, and since then have given 68 gifts in support of the Trust's mission of preserving civil war battlefields. A truly unique organization designed to partner with both public and private organizations to educate and inform Americans about the significant period in U.S. history, and to preserve for future generations the historical and hallowed ground where key Civil War battles were fought. Highly effective, frugal and dedicated to service to community and its mission.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Seeing the fruits of one’s labors has its rewards. So it is that by following Dennis Frye’s urgings in the 1980s to join the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (APCWS) that I have been able to play a part, albeit a modest one, in safeguarding 40,000 acres of some of the most historic land in America. Little did I know that the APCWS would later give way to the forging of a more powerful partnership that today is the Civil War Trust (CWT).

Unlike many charitable organizations where progress is often difficult to measure, the work of the CWT can be seen and felt from Missouri to Maryland and in more than a dozen other states. Having visited places as distant as Wilson’s Creek, Missouri and as close as Gettysburg and the slopes of South Mountain, Maryland, I am thrilled to have been witness to much of the historic landscapes that the CWT has preserved.

What is more, I have walked the fields at Cedar Mountain, Virginia, where my great-great uncle first came under hostile fire and have contributed to helping to preserve the Slaughter Pen at Fredericksburg where his conduct in battle netted him corporal bars and assignment to the regimental color guard. Many times I have visited the second railroad cut at Gettysburg where he was captured on July 1, 1863, hoping that someday the modern intrusions there might be removed. That idle dream is now becoming a reality thanks to a 2014 CWT fundraising campaign now underway. Finally, thanks to the leadership of the CWT, I was honored to have been among the many to have worked successfully against the Wal-Mart Corporation that tried to despoil the Wilderness Battlefield in Virginia, where my ancestor fell in combat while carrying his country’s flag.

Pride is seldom attractive, yet one allowance I do make is the great satisfaction I feel in holding membership card #247 in the 50,000 member CWT. While it is a privilege to teach history, it is even more rewarding to help preserve where history happened. .

Thomas M. Grace, Ph.D.

1 J.R. R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live in Culpeper County, one of the most fought-over counties in America, where the Battle of Brandy Station began General Lee's move north to the high-water mark at Gettysburg. The Civil War Trust has been committed to preserving the sprawling and lovely fields on which the largest predominantly cavalry battle in North American history was fought between the forces of Beau Sabreur J.E.B. Stuart and Alfred Pleasanton's newly bold Yankees. The sense of pride I felt as a contributor swelled as I stopped to visit the historic site last weekend. A stunningly ugly modern mansion had been constructed on the site of Stuart's Headquarters atop Fleetwood Hill, an incongruous and offensive intrusion on Sacred Ground. With the help of local groups, the CWPT made the critical difference in acquiring the property, and to see the ugly house being ripped down to restore the site to its historic appearance made me proud to be a member- and an American.

J.R. Reddig
Culpeper

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a very strong supporter behind the "Civil War Trust's" mission now for just over twenty years and also served as a volunteer with this non-profit organization for just over five (5) years; one and just over one-half year when it was known as the "Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites" and three (3) and one-half years when it was known as the "Civil War Preservation Trust." In addition to preserving and protecting our country's irreplaceable history and heritage in land, the "Civil War Trust" to me represents and symbolizes the values of what I'll call "modern-day pastoral agrarianism."
In addition, the Trust in particular goes a long way in providing its members the "biggest bang" for their buck donations with its matching numbers, that way leveraging most efficiently their members' financial support.

Eric B. Martin
10-10-2013

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been supporters of the Civil War Trust for many years. We appreciate the Trust's mission, and are continually impressed with the results being delivered for a very worthy cause. We will remain supporters as long as there is a need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been members since 2005 and interacted with this group on many levels and on various projects and trips. We have made almost 50 donations and will continue to do so. Their wise stewardship of the funds and the brilliance of their acquisition strategies is exemplary. The staff is always helpful and courteous and frankly just a pleasure to work with. They have our trust and friendship and have changed how future generations will experience the Civil War immensely.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got interested in the Civil War because of art. I saw the Ken Burns series in 1990 and loved it but it didn't inspire me to go out and search out Civil War sites although, being in Washington DC, I was near quite a few of them. It wasn't until 1997 when, while driving on the interstate in Maryland, I saw the sign for Sharpsburg for the umpteenth time and decided to visit a Civil War battlefield site. Once there, what struck me were the statues. I loved the stories they portrayed. That instantly hooked me and I found I was touring the park looking for other statues, then getting curious about the battlefield itself.

Pretty quickly, I decided to visit other Civil War sites. I kept running into sites that were crediting a group called the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (APCWS) for buying the land and preventing it from being developed.

I believe we have a responsibility to pay our share for things that we consume so, in 1998, I joined the APCWS. Park rangers were also praising another preservation group -- the Civil War Trust -- so I joined that one also. I thought it was the best of all possible worlds when both of "my" preservation groups joined to become what would ultimately end up being called the Civil War Trust again.

I knew the Trust was protecting battlefields but it's also a membership organization. They have regularly-scheduled conferences for members. I went to my first conference in 1999 with some trepidation. Would I be surrounded by "the South will rise again" fanatics? But I found the members to be open, intelligent, fascinating people who shared my passion for the battlefields.

The Trust itself was this to the nth power, plus being dedicated, inspired, professional, and practical. This was a great organization doing great things. The more I checked, the more impressed I was with the organization. Park rangers spoke almost in awe of it. Famous authors were donating their time to lead Trust members on tours. And Charity Navigator's continually high ratings independently reassured me that my money was being well spent.

Seventy-some donations later, I'm proud of what the Civil War Trust has accomplished and that I'm a part of it.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Like about 50,000 other folks, I have long been a member of this organization. I am also a former Board member. So I know this organization well, and feel that it does more good, more efficiently, than any other non-profit I know of. And an interesting thing is that they seem to have so much fun doing it.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As longtime members (since 1995) we have been stalwart donors (209) gifts of Civil War Trust. It has been an honor and privilege to contribute to an organization that protects and preserves our American heritage for generations to come. What we love about CWT is that we get to see tangible results of our contributions by walking and the studying the battlefields that we have preserved-we get to enjoy the historians who accompany us and provide the "walking history" of the site. We are always pleased to see the annual reports that let us know how our money was spent knowing this organization is following its mission statement to preserve our country's historical past. As a retired teacher I am always excited about the intense educational component that is available to all schools. This group is the best- continue the great work. Carol & Ralph De Rosa

Review from CharityNavigator