For Immediate Release: 03/10/06
Reenactors, CWPT, Join Forces to Create Civil War Reenactor Advisory Council
Award Winners join with CWPT to create a pro-active council of battlefield preservation activists
(Washington, D.C.) - To acknowledge the invaluable contribution of reenactors to battlefield preservation, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) has joined with some of the most dedicated and preservation-minded living historians in the nation to create the Civil War Reenactor Advisory Council. The new Advisory Council will reach out to all segments of the battlefield protection movement and bring them together to increase the preservation presence at threatened Civil War sites across the nation.
To create the Advisory Council, CWPT is partnering with Mike Chapman of Arlington, Va. and Doug Cooper of Boise, Idaho — two reenactors who have consistently worked to further the battlefield preservation cause. As a result of their efforts, their reenactment units, the Stonewall Brigade (headquartered in the mid-Atlantic region) and Chaps Pacific Northwest Living History Group (headquartered in the mid-West) were the 2005 recipients of the CWPT Reenactment Unit of the Year Award.
CWPT President James Lighthizer said that he expects the Advisory Council to play a vital role in the Trust's preservation efforts. In outlining his vision for the new Advisory Council, Lighthizer said: "The Reenactor Advisory Council will heighten awareness of the dire plight of our nation's Civil War sites. The immeasurable enthusiasm and talents of the Civil War reenacting community are powerful forces that can bring the stories of what happened at these sites to life for generations to come."
Cooper supported Lighthizer's enthusiasm. "The Advisory Council hopes to serve as the ?eyes and ears' of CWPT, alerting them to possible preservation issues at the local level. We will be vigilant in our monitoring of the potential development and sale of battlefield land. And we will do our utmost to help raise money to rescue endangered hallowed ground."
CWPT intends to coordinate with the Advisory Council to ensure reenactor resources are targeted toward the most timely battlefield preservation efforts.
Chapman hailed the creation of the Council when he said: "The Reenactor Advisory Council plans to help organize more living history events on CWPT land in the future. Last year, we held a small, authentic, preservation-oriented event on CWPT's property at Mine Run that raised more than $10,000!"
Lighthizer expressed his appreciation for the contributions that reenactors have already made to CWPT and its mission to save Civil War sites. He said: "Time and experience have proven that the crusade to preserve historic sites associated with the Civil War is an uphill battle, but one that can be won through dedication and hard work. With the help of the living history community, CWPT can achieve even more success."
In making the announcement, Lighthizer also recognized the immense contribution of the late historian and author Brian Pohanka (a member of the Duryee's Zouave reenactment unit), whose work and vision, he said, "is carried forward by the many living historians invited to join in the Council's important mission."
With 75,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our country's remaining Civil War battlefields. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 22,300 acres of hallowed ground nationwide. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.