A special announcement in the preservation world was made public today. The Civil War Trust, which the Campaign 1776 initiative spawned from, officially changed their name to the American Battlefield Trust. You can see their video announcement of the name change and what it means, here.
Emerging Revolutionary War sent an email inquiry to our friends at American Battlefield Trust to elaborate a little further on what this name change means and the impact to their current and future preservation efforts.
1. What was the emphasis behind the creation of the American Battlefield Trust?
The name American Battlefield Trust more accurately reflects our mission to protect the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. Since the Civil War Trust expanded its mission in November 2014 to include preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields, it has become clear the name “Civil War Trust” no longer fully conveys what we do. \
2. What does this mean to the preservation efforts of Campaign 1776 (now Revolutionary War Trust)
Campaign 1776 becomes the Revolutionary War Trust, a new division under the American Battlefield Trust umbrella. As the name implies, the Revolutionary War Trust will focus on preserving lands associated with the American Revolution, as well as educating the public about our country’s struggle for independence.
3. If someone donates money, can they still specify whether the donation goes to protecting Civil War battlefields or earlier hallowed ground?
Our organization has a long history of providing contributors with opportunities to donate toward projects that speak most deeply to them. Civil War buffs, for instance, could choose to give just to their favorite battlefield, just to western theater sites or to any Civil War battlefield. Likewise, Revolutionary War enthusiasts can choose to give to only Revolutionary War battlefields. That being said, we hope prospective contributors will donate to threatened battlefields, regardless of the conflict!
4. Does this announcement kick-off any special planning for the 250th of the American Revolution?
The Civil War Trust, now a division of the American Battlefield Trust, was honored and humbled to be recently selected to serve as the nonprofit partner that will serve as Administrative Secretariat for the United States Semiquincentennial Commission. We look forward to working closely with organizations and partners across the country to help plan the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution under the banner of the newly created American Battlefield Trust.
5. Does the umbrella, American Battlefield Trust, extend to preserving ground of the other conflicts; Native American Wars and/or Mexican-American War that was fought on U.S. territory?
At present, the American Battlefield Trust limits its land-preservation efforts to the three formative conflicts of our nation’s first century: the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and the Civil War. We do so, in part, because these are the three wars that have been thoroughly studied and prioritized by the National Park Service (in the 1993 Report of the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee and the 2007 Report on the Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites). However, to tell the full story of these conflicts and related events, where appropriate we will offer resources covering other episodes and eras in American military history.
6. Any insight from a person within the organization that you would like to give?
“Thanks to the generosity of our membership, we have saved nearly 50,000 acres of battlefield land. However, to save the next 50,000 acres – and to prepare for the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution – we need to reach out to a new audience of Americans who do not yet know they are passionate about battlefield preservation. Creation of the American Battlefield Trust is the mechanism to do that.”
– Jim Lighthizer, President, American Battlefield Trust
*A special thanks to Jim Lighthizer, Jim Campi and Lindsey Morrison of American Battlefield Trust for their time and assistance with this question and answer.*