For Immediate Release: 03/16/05
National Geographic and Preservation Trust Highlight Plight of Hallowed Battlegrounds
World-renowned magazine dramatically reveals the plight of America's battlegrounds.
(Washington, DC) - National Geographic magazine draws a bead on the urgency of preserving America's Civil War history in its April 2005 edition. In "Civil War Battlefields: Saving the Landscapes of America's Deadliest War," writer Adam Goodheart and photographer Michael Melford explain how urban sprawl and development are overtaking our nation's Civil War battlegrounds.
Jim Lighthizer, President of Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), was impressed with the article, noting: "Nothing reveals the plight of our remaining Civil War battlefields better than images of those sites today. National Geographic's pictures, combined with Adam Goodheart's riveting tale of history and sprawl, make a powerful argument for battlefield preservation."
Lighthizer is among the several preservationists quoted in the article. At one point in the story, the author describes Lighthizer as a combination of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant — two of the Civil War's most legendary commanders.
Of the 10,000 battles and skirmishes fought during the Civil War, 383 battlefields were deemed worthy of protection by the Congressionally appointed Civil War Sites Advisory Commission in 1993. Through the efforts of CWPT and other organizations, many of these battlefields have been saved in the past decade. CWPT fears that, without quick action, the 200,000 acres of hallowed ground that remain in private hands may be irretrievably lost to developers within the next twenty years.
"The blockbuster story by National Geographic is what we need to shed light on the severe problems facing our Civil War battlefields," Lighthizer further remarked. "More men and women lost their lives or were injured on these battlefields than in any other American war. We hope that all Americans who value our history will join us to save this blood-soaked land."
The magazine's parent organization, the National Geographic Society, will join CWPT to unveil the story at a Capitol Hill reception for Senators, Members of Congress and their staffs on March 16.
CWPT is a 70,000-member nonprofit battlefield preservation organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites and promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. CWPT's website is www.civilwar.org.