To mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of the American Civil War, the Civil War Trust has announced an ambitious national campaign that will permanently protect 20,000 acres of battlefield land over the next five years. The Trust has already protected more than 30,000 acres in 20 states over the past two decades.
Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy kicked off on June 30 with an event held at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, a key landmark of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, which occurred 148 years ago. The project was announced by Civil War Trust chairman Henry Simpson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom James McPherson and the organization’s newest Trustee, country music superstar Trace Adkins.
“With an average of 30 acres of battlefield land lost each day, now is the time for a major preservation initiative,” said McPherson. “If successful, Campaign 150 will have allowed us to set aside those landscapes that future generations will require in order to gain a full understanding of the Civil War. This project will enable us to substantively complete protection of many of the conflict’s storied fields.”
In order to successfully protect such a tremendous amount of land in four years, the Trust believes it must raise $40 million from the private sector. These funds will then be leveraged with government grants and foundation and corporate support to purchase battlefield land at fair market value or place it under permanent conservation easements.