For Immediate Release: 04/24/04
Civil War Preservation Trust Announces Winners of 2004 Preservation Awards
(Washington, D.C.) - At its annual conference in April, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) announced the winners of its 2004 Preservation Awards. The awards were created to honor individuals and organizations for their exemplary dedication to the cause of Civil War preservation.
"We are engaged in a struggle to save America's Civil War legacy," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Without the kind of commitment displayed by this year's recipients, many Civil War-related sites will be little more than a memory within a few years."
The seven Preservation Awards were presented during a banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville Tennessee. During the ceremony, Lighthizer stressed the need for cooperation among preservationists, and stated that he was proud to recognize a few of CWPT's many partners with these awards.
The awards presented by Lighthizer at the conference were:
-- The Carrington Williams Battlefield Preservationist of the Year Award was awarded to historian Brian Pohanka of Alexandria, Va., for his commitment to preserving Civil War battlegrounds throughout the nation. Pohanka was one of the founders of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, a predecessor of CWPT. In his remarks, Pohanka emphasized the need for preservationists to act quickly, before America's remaining battlegrounds are destroyed.
-- The National Leadership Award was awarded to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, for his support of battlefield preservation in the 108th Congress. Senator Sessions was an original co-sponsor of the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2002.
-- The State Leadership Award was presented to Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, for his outstanding leadership on behalf of preservation of Fort Negley in Tennessee. Mayor Purcell has secured $2 million from the city to restore the fort. In his remarks, Mayor Purcell announced that Fort Negley would be re-opened in time for the 140th anniversary of Nashville in December 2004.
-- The Preservation Organization of the Year Award was presented to the Mill Springs Battlefield Association, for its outstanding commitment to protecting Kentucky's Mill Springs Battleground, the scene of fighting on January 19, 1862.
-- The National Park Service Preservationist of the Year Award was presented to Richard Hanks, the former superintendent of Fort Donelson National Battlefield, for his efforts to protect that historic battleground. Mr. Hanks retired from the National Park Service in March 2004.
-- The Preservationist Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Bob Rinehart of Forest Hills, Md., for his outstanding commitment to promoting battlefield preservation in the classroom. Mr. Rinehart is a teacher at Southampton Middle School in Bel Air, Md.
-- The Civil War Discovery Trail Site of the Year Award was presented to the Siege and Battle of Corinth Historic Site in Corinth, Mississippi. The Civil War Discovery Trail is one of sixteen national millennium trails in the United States. The award was accepted by Rosemary Williams, who announced that the new Corinth Battlefield interpretation center will open on July 24, 2004.
In praising the recipients, Lighthizer remarked, "These award winners are among the true guardians of our nation's Civil War heritage. Their efforts are helping to preserve the last tangible reminders of sacrifices made by those who donned the blue and gray."
With 50,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism.