Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 06/16/05

Preservation Trust Mourns Loss of Historian and Preservationist Brian Pohanka

Historian was a true giant in the historic preservation community

(Alexandria, Va.) - The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) learned this morning of the untimely death of a true giant in the historic preservation community, historian and preservationist Brian C. Pohanka. CWPT President James Lighthizer made the following statement in the wake of Brian's passing:

"Today the battlefield preservation community, and the Civil War community at large, mourn the loss of historian and preservationist Brian C. Pohanka. Few people have contributed more to keeping the memory of the Civil War alive for the present generations of Americans. He will be missed.

"Brian was a familiar face on many Civil War documentaries. He could be found on such programs as Civil War Journal and Ken Burns' landmark The Civil War, among countless others. Brian's commentary was always sharp, insightful, and to the point. He further shared his perspective through countless books and articles on the war, and helped other young authors with advice and encouragement. Brian's true passion centered on the famous Zouave soldiers, especially the renowned Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry.

"Arguably Brian's most important contribution — in a life full of great contributions — was in 1987, when he helped start the battlefield preservation movement that we know today. Brian hosted some of the first meetings Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, a group that would later become the Civil War Preservation Trust. Thanks to Brian's foresight and commitment, hallowed battlefields that would otherwise have been paved over remain for future generations to visit and venerate. We at the Civil War Preservation Trust are proud and honored to carry on the work he started.

"The Civil War Preservation Trust's Board of Trustees, members and staff join me in expressing our deepest sympathy to Brian's wife Cricket and the rest of his family. Although he is gone, Brian's passion for preservation and history will continue to inspire Civil War buffs and preservationists for decades to come."

With 70,000 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. CWPT's website is


  • Jim Campi (CWPT)
    (202) 367-1861


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