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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

24 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!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Excellent updates of battlefield preservation. Keeping our historic places alive. I would love to volunteer and help them in the future when I retire.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I have donated to the Civil War Trust for many years. We've always had complete confidence that our donations would be used in the best way possible and the CWT has never let us down. Nearly all of the funds raised go toward their mission with a bare minimum to overhead. Having worked in the non-profit world, this is very important to me in choosing charities to support. The CWT track record is second to none in battlefield preservation and education efforts surrounding this vital part of our nation's history.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have donated to the Civil War Trust for over 20 years and been very satisfied with the results. The use of the funds collected mostly goes to the use described in the request as it should . Living in The West makes it difficult to visit battle fields in the East but CWT's magazine Hollowed Grounds does an excellent job of keeping me up to date on both the Battle Field activities but also how the finances are distributed.
AEN, California

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have donated to the Civil War Preservation Trust for over 10 years, and consistently donate when they have special appeals for development threatened battle sites to make sure that these hallowed grounds are preserved for our future generations to learn how tremendous the sacrifice was for all those who fought in those battles. I have visited many of the sites in PA & MD. My first visit to Gettysburg was in 1970 and have seen the great progress made in restoration and education since that visit. I will continue to contribute to help purchase new areas as they become available and support demolishing the modern buildings occupying that land and recreating the land as it was on the original battlefileds

Scantu

Donor

Rating: 5

I am someone who appreciates the history of our nation and those special places that we can visit to learn from our past. I thus support those organizations that have the mission to preserve these special places, and who also strive to educate others on the significance of these special places. I grew up in Virginia and developed a particular interest in the Civil War as a result. I recall visiting Antietam, Harper's Ferry, Gettysburg, and Manassas as a 4th and 5th grader (a LONG time ago!) and thinking how 'cool' it was to visit the actual locations where history was made - I certainly did not understand the strategy of the over all campaigns, but that did not matter. I walked on the Burnside Bridge, on Bloody Lane, in Devil's Den, and visited the Stone House - I stood on the Hallowed Ground where brothers fought each other and that made an impact on me. I recall thinking what a good thing it was that these locations were saved so that people like me could visit and appreciate what happened there. For me - it simply brought the classroom lessons and textbooks to life!

Today I look back and count 17+ years that I have been a proud member and donor of the Civil War Trust. There are numerous organizations that I could have chosen, but I've selected the CWT because it is first and foremost, extremely effective with the funds it collects and increases these funds greatly by doing a fantastic job collaborating with other groups to match donations. The CWT is a very well run, well organized team that has strong committed leadership. The CWT team has a passion to save our civil war battlefields and has implemented a number of tools to educate and to create an understanding of the events that took place on our nation's hallowed ground, including on line tools and maps. I've attended several CWT events/tours including the 4 most recent annual conferences and each has been superbly organized and informative.

For my stated interest to preserve and to educate, the Civil War Trust earns an A+ and I look forward to help to continue the mission.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The mission of the Civil War Trust is to preserve9 our history by rescuing land that once saw war between our countrymen. The professionalism and dedication of this organization's board to execute this is unmatched as demonstrated by the many awards and accolades the CWT has EARNED. I have attended several annual conference and have always come away even more energized, passionate, and extremely proud of the work we do. It is an organization made up of men, women, and students. The mix is diverse - some are retired, some are recent graduates, some are educators, some are spouses who come along for the comraderi - but we all share a common purpose, and we all are making a contribution and one heck of a difference together! I am a member of a few organizations, but none is run and managed more effectively than the Civil War Trust!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been members of the Trust for at least 10 years. The Trust's mission is to save battlefields, hallowed by American blood. Once this ground is lost to development, it will never be reclaimed and future generations will never know what our ancestors did. There is no better way to learn history than walk these sites. To help us learn, the Trust offers excellent educational programs -- we have been privileged to attend several annual conferences and walked the battlefields along with nationally recognized historians to better understand what happened. The ongoing focus to educate our youth through teacher institutes helps prepare future generations to continue to focus on saving this ground.

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust is the gold standard by which I gauge my contributions to all other non-profit organizations. The CWT inspires me far more than any other group because of its unparalleled leadership, financial integrity, outreach, and impact in protecting and preserving our Civil War history in perpetuity. About ten years ago, my life-long fascination with Civil War lore was suddenly boosted by discovery in an elderly relative’s attic near Rochester, New York of nearly a dozen well-written letters in their original stamped envelopes from late 1861 to late 1862—mailed separately from various sites in northern Virginia by my great-grandfather and his brother to their parents and siblings. They wrote and stamped their uncoordinated missives home while serving in a US volunteer regiment from Saratoga Springs and Albany, New York, and they both survived the war. This revelation of my blood connection to our great national conflict caused me to broaden my participation in various Civil War groups and activities, but it became clear that the CWT was paramount as the most effective of all such organizations. I am now a proud member of the Color Guard, and I routinely contribute to initiatives by the CWT to secure hallowed ground in locations large and small, and to provide educational materials and field trips for school children and their teachers. It is exciting to think of future Americans who will be able to gain precious first-hand knowledge of the Civil War beyond dusty bookshelves and Wikipedia. They personally will be able to experience myriad landscapes--and often physical structures--that bore witness to unfathomable sacrifice and bravery, and which directly influenced America’s trajectory from fledgling nation to world power.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member for at least 15 years and the civil war trust is to me the most important organization that is looking to the future for the preservation of one of the most important times that this country had to face in it's history. the land that they will be forever a reminder for our future generations to come. it is worth every penny spent on our children and their children.

Tony Custodio

1 Nancy185

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Civil War Trust makes each member and donor feel appreciated. I have found this to be rare in the nonprofit world.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member of The CWT for more than ten years. Never have I seen an organization more dedicated to their cause. I feel appreciated whether I give five dollars or five hundred dollars. The money that is given is well accounted for which is more than I can say about many organizations.

Sincerely,
Nancy Kramer

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member of Civil War Trust for so many years I have lost count. I first became interested when I began researching one of my great-great grandfathers, Col. Stephen Heard Darden. I knew the battles he fought in, did more research, and became intrigued with the men who fought in this war. Col. Darden and numerous other ancestors fought for the south. When I discovered Civil War Trust, I thought, "This is a way I can preserve their memory and the battles they fought in." Civil War Trust is not only for the Confederates...it is also for the Union Army. And, yes, to my surprise, I also had ancestors from Ohio who fought for the Union. I am touched by Civil War Trust in so many ways. By contributing what I can when I can, I feel I am truly being respectful to my ancestors who fought in the Civil War. This is a part of history and should be taught to everyone and never forgotten. I have visited numerous battlefields and felt chills as I walked where I KNEW Col. Darden had fought (especially at Antietam). Thank God for Civil War Trust, the maps and informative magazine they provide, and the plethora of information that can be passed on to others. When I have finished reading my CWT magazine, I donate it to our local library.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Civil War Trust since its founding. This organization has done more to preserve our heritage than any other organization I can think of. The way in which it creates partnerships with many smaller, local or regional battlefield preservation groups is especially noteworthy. I am very proud to say that I am a member and I urge my friends to join the Civil War Trust whenever I have the opportunity to do so.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Civil War Trust almost from the beginning (about 21 years). As a resident of eastern Virginia over 60 years ago I frequently roamed the Petersburg/ Richmond battlefields. A bit was protected at Petersburg; e.g., the Crater, a few acres at Malvern Hill on the peninsula, but most was totally unprotected. One example of this was Butler's fortifications when he was bottled up on the Bermuda Hundred peninsula., These were in pristine condition. And I saw them begin to disappear to development. Much was totally gone the last time I visited. There was not a SINGLE ACRE protected at Fraser's Farm/Glendale of McClellan's peninsula campaign . The Park Service had a few acres at Five Forks but absolutely no interpretation. It has been my privilege over the years to see significant parts of the Petersburg campaign saved, in large part by efforts of the Civil War Trust. I am thrilled that over the years my gifts have in such a small part aided this effort at preservation of our history. I have nothing but praise for the Trust in what they have accomplished.

Keith D. Gehr

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Helping save civil war battlefields is, literally, in my blood.

My maternal great grandfather fought at Gettysburg; my paternal great grandfather at Vicksburg, Both survived or I wouldn't be here. Nor would major portions of the fields on which they fought if it were not for the outstanding work of the Civil War Preservation trust; an organization I have supported for years....and most respectfully urge you to support as well. Together we can continue to save these significant vestiges of our American heritage for all of the generations that follow us.

Tom Ellick, California and Washington State

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust is doing an invaluable service to all Americans by preserving our past. While everything we did in the past was not always "good" - it is part of our heritage - and what and who we are. The current trend to edit history so it "reads better" is despicable.

By preserving the fields etc. where our ancestors fought and died to make us who we are today - must be preserved.

Remember: Those who forget the lessons of History are bound to repeat it!

Capt. Henry E. Marx USMM Ret

1 Brian124

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In recent years I've been doing genealogy research to learn more more about myself and my family. I've been truly impressed with the battlefields and museums and memorials that help to preserve and protect the history as well as the memory of those who made history. I feel it is important to preserve this important piece of us. The men and women who made this history may be long buried but each and every one of us carry a part of them with us today. If we are to look forward to the future and build a better world we must learn from the the lessons left to us by the past. The most important saying that speaks to this is, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Keep history alive and vital so we never have to hear the saying "The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son".

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My interest in the American Civil War is familial and, at one point in my working career, it was also professional.

The battlefields of the Civil War are integral to the history and evolution of the United States and the nation it is today.

I have enjoyed visiting many battlefields and associated sites and many years ago I had also had the pleasure of working on one of the major battlefields of the Civil War.

The Civil War Trust does exactly what it says its mission is - helping rescue and protect Civil War battlefields regardless of location and size. And the Trust does this with minimal fuss and maximum efficiency.

My contributions are quite modest, but I am proud to be a contributing member of the Civil War Trust. and being a small part in helping to preserve a bit of the heritage of the United States.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a member of the Civil War Trust for nearly 15 years. It's one thing to know history, quite another to preserve and experience it. Sure you could read about the battles of Gettysburg, Shiloh or Antietam in a book, but standing on the field itself, imagining what happened there, is a moving experience. You get a better perspective. You see the contours of geography and begin to understand why troops were deployed the way they were. You can sense the bravery, courage and fear of the soldiers in places that have gone down in history with names like Bloody Lane, the Angle, and the Hornet's Nest.

Buying battlefield land in order to preserve it for future generations noble. It's also necessary if we're to preserve our heritage and keep it from being paved over by highways, shopping centers, or housing. I've always been proud to contribute to the Trust's campaigns because I know they don't waste my money. They buy key pieces of property that are needed to preserve history. They put together deals that maximize the benefit of my contributions. It's always the best bang for my buck.

In addition to buying historic land, the Civil War Trust can be counted on to defend battlefield land against the likes of developers who wanted to build a casino near Gettysburg. They helped squash the Disney Company's plan for a Civil War Theme Park in Manassas and worked with other preservation groups to find a suitable location for the Walmart Supercenter other than opposite the entrance to the Wilderness Battlefield.

As an organization the Civil War Trust does a superb job in their core mission -- buying battlefield property. They do an equally great job keeping their members informed of successes and ongoing campaigns through the www.civilwar.org website and the quarterly magazine Hallowed Ground. The website is a fantastic resource for educators, students, or anyone planning a trip to a Civil War battlefield. The ever expanding number of Battle App Guides for smart phones will enhance your trip experience.

Because I have a passion for history, I donate to many groups and foundations to preserve little bits and pieces of it. But let's be honest, George Washington's Mount Vernon or Thomas Jefferson's Monticello won't disappear without my donations. Without the Civil War Trust, and it's member's support, some important battlefield land just might.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

I started donating to the Civil War Trust in 2000 when I found it listed as one of the reputable charities to donate to through the government's annual Combined Federal Campaign. As a Civil War buff since childhood, I was happy to give money to an outfit that saved battlefield land from development for future generations. I joined the Trust in 2002 in order to help the cause even more. I've had the honor to donate money some 138 times to save parts of battlefields across the country. In addition to the thousands of acres of land preserved, I am proud of the Trust's part in preventing such atrocities as a casino in Gettysburg and a Walmart on the edge of the Wilderness battlefield. The Civil War Trust keeps its members informed through an outstanding quarterly magazine called Hallowed Ground and has developed a world-class web site as well. Available there are battlefield applications to download to your smart phone to use when touring some of the more famous battlefields. I'd certainly recommend looking at civilwar.org before touring any Civil War battlefield or whenever you want to learn a little something more about a particular battle. It's a great organization and I'll continue to give because I believe in their mission.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Civil War Trust is THE most valuable group to the preservation of our nation's historical lands as far as a non-profit organization. In conjunction with the National Park Service their efforts have been able to obtain critical hallowed ground that would otherwise be bulldozed and built upon by non-interested big business types that care only for the money in their pockets.

Our past is of utmost importance to us and must be preserved.

Harriett Condon

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust is one of the best organizations I have been aware of in the area of historical preservation. The Civil War was one of the most significant times in our nation's history-when our nation was preserved and slavery ended. The persistent efforts by Jim Lighthizer and the membership toward keeping the battlefields, cemeteries, and other historic sites free from development and ruin
have been nothing short of phenomenal.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have stood on Gettysburg and Antietam battlefield and looked out on land unsullied by personal homes, commercial building or theme parks. This is how our history should be experienced. We are connected to those who fought there. I'm proud to be a member of a respected organization whose purpose is to preserve these lands and the history of them.