For Immediate Release: 06/21/07
Tennessee Congressman Honored for Efforts to Preserve Battlefields
U.S. Representative Bart Gordon recognized by the Civil War Preservation Trust as a champion of the battlefield preservation cause
(Washington, D.C.) - During a ceremony today on Capitol Hill, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) honored Volunteer State Congressman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) with its National Preservation Leadership Award. CWPT presented the award to Rep. Gordon for his stalwart support of Civil War battlefield preservation. CWPT President James Lighthizer presented the award to the legislator.
Rep. Gordon has long been an advocate of the federal Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, a matching grants program that has become the principal tool for protecting battlefield land in the U.S. Rep. Gordon is also co-chairman and a founding member of the Congressional Battlefields Caucus, an informal group of lawmakers with an abiding interest in historic preservation.
"Tennessee is steeped in Civil War history, and my hometown was the site of a major battle. I know firsthand what unique and valuable resources Civil War battlefields are, and I take my responsibility for preserving them very seriously. I am truly honored to be recognized for work that preserves an important part of our nation's past."
Thanks in part to Rep. Gordon's leadership and support, the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program has been used to save more than 14,000 acres of hallowed ground in 15 states, including his home state of Tennessee.
"Without the help of this distinguished gentleman, the work that we do would simply not be possible," said CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Rep. Gordon's commitment to the cause of preservation and his leadership in the halls of Congress have been pivotal to the successes of this organization."
Rep. Gordon's district in Middle Tennessee includes five of the state's major battlefields, including Stones River Battlefield, site of a December 31, 1862 — January 2, 1863 battle that left more than 23,000 casualties in its wake. In addition to his work on behalf of the Battlefield Preservation Program and the Congressional Battlefields Caucus, Gordon was instrumental in the creation of the statewide Tennessee Civil War Heritage Area, one of 37 congressionally-designated heritage areas in the country. He also lobbied successfully for the renovation and expansion the Stones River National Battlefield Visitor Center, as well as numerous other preservation-related causes.
Each year CWPT presents awards to individuals, groups and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the cause of battlefield preservation. This year, CWPT is also recognizing Rep. Steven Israel (D-N.Y.) with its National Preservation Leadership Award for his involvement in Congressional battlefield preservation efforts. Like Gordon, he is a staunch advocate of the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program and a founding member of the Congressional Battlefields Caucus.
Previous winners of the National Preservation Leadership Award include Senators Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.); and Congressmen John Culberson (R-Texas), Gary G. Miller (R-Calif.), and Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), among others.
With 70,000 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 24,000 acres of hallowed ground nationwide. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.