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Civil War Trust

Civil War Trust Mourns Loss of Chairman Emeritus Henry E. Simpson

The Civil War Trust and the entire historic preservation community mourn the loss of longtime trustee and friend Henry E. Simpson of Birmingham, Ala. Mr. Simpson served on the Trust board for 15 years, including a recently concluded two-year term as chairman.

Henry's tenure as chairman marked one of the Trust's greatest periods of success in terms of land acquisition, including the permanent protection of 5,000 acres of hallowed ground. Among the properties protected during that time are some of the most historic ever protected by a private battlefield conservation entity, including: 285 acres at Gaine's Mill, Va., effectively quadrupling the land protected at that important site; 776 acres at Shiloh, Tenn., that largely complete that battlefield and national park; 570 acres at Perryville, Ky., including the infamous "slaughter pen" and burning barn sites; the Vermont Monument site at Cedar Creek, Va.; 49 acres at the heart of Saunders Field on the Wilderness Battlefield, Va.; and the Cameron Strip Center at Franklin, Tenn.

Henry Simpson, Trace Adkins, Bob Powell, and Jim McPherson
Henry Simpson, fellow Trustee and country music singer Trace Adkins, Gettysburg NMP superintendent Bob Kirby and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson launch "Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy," the Trust's ongoing sesquicentennial fundraising effort in June 2011.

Perhaps more importantly, Henry was committed to the idea of preserved battlefields as an educational tool and spearheaded several on site interpretive projects, including one at Hog Mountain, Ala., that opened in April 2013 to correspond with the 150th anniversary of Streight's Raid. His final interpretive effort — working with the Richmond Battlefields Association to erect a monument to the bravery of Alabama troops on the battlefield at Second Deep Bottom, or Fussell's Mill — was completed shortly before his passing. That marker followed the explicit specifications set forth by the unit's commander Col. William C. Oates in his memoirs.

The Civil War Trust will miss Henry's leadership, passion, wit and charm. His passing leaves a void within the battlefield preservation community and the organization's Board of Trustees, members and staff wish to express our deepest sympathy to Henry's family. Although he is gone, Henry's passion for preservation and history will continue to inspire others to protect our nation's unique Civil War history.


SIMPSON, HENRY EVANS, born on December 6, 1934, died July 8, 2013. Henry was born to the late Florence Evans Simpson and James Alexander Simpson. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Nesbitt Simpson, and two brothers James Evans Simpson and Joseph E. Simpson. He is survived by his children, Charles Hatcher Simpson (Kate), Elizabeth Simpson Poynor (Wilmer), John Rembert Simpson and eight grandchildren, Hope W. Simpson, Charles H. Simpson, Jr., Sam D. Simpson, Wilmer S. Poynor V, Florence E. Poynor, Virginia E. Poynor, Lillian H. Simpson and Sallie E. Simpson.

Henry attended Lakeview Elementary School, Ramsay High School and graduated from The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. He received a B.A. in American History from Vanderbilt University in 1956 and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1960 where he served on the Virginia Law Review. He was a member of the Dillard Scholarship Committee of UVA Law School.

Henry was a partner of the law firm Lange, Simpson, Robinson & Somerville LLP now Adams and Reese LLP (1960 - present). He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, having represented clients in more than 200 jury trials and was included in the registry of Best Lawyers in America. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Regions Financial Corporation from 1969 to 2003. Henry also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Civil War Preservation Trust and served as Chairman from 2011 to 2013. He was a member of Independent Presbyterian Church, The Redstone Club, Birmingham Country Club and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

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