For Immediate Release: 01/13/11
Civil War Trust Announces National Campaign to Save Hallowed Ground at Two Georgia Battlefields
Civil War Trust’s all-time tally of protected battlefield land will reach 30,000 acres with preservation of 538 acres at Resaca and Dallas
(Washington, D.C.) – The Civil War Trust is kicking off the Civil War sesquicentennial with the announcement of a national campaign to save 538 acres of hallowed ground on the Resaca and Dallas Battlefields in Georgia. It is the organization’s first opportunity in several years to protect battlefield land associated with the pivotal 1864 Atlanta campaign. The campaign has added significance for the Civil War Trust since, once completed, it will put the nonprofit organization’s all-time tally of protected land nationwide over the 30,000-acre mark.
“Each of these projects is a can’t-miss opportunity,” said Civil War Trust president James Lighthizer. “By working with outstanding partners like the Trust for Public Land, the Georgia Battlefields Association, and the City of Dallas, Ga., we are able to multiply the private-sector donations of our members tremendously — each dollar raised will be used to protect $67 worth of land.”
As outlined in a letter sent to the Civil War Trust’s 55,000 members, the “Georgia Campaign” consists of two separate transactions, each important in its own right. Once both are completed, the organization’s cumulative record will eclipse the 30,000-acre mark, a milestone Lighthizer said was unimaginable when he took the reins as president of the Trust in 1999.
“Never in the history of battlefield preservation has there been anything like the success this organization has seen,” said Lighthizer. “And as the Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration continues, we will redouble our efforts to set aside these landscapes as a lasting legacy of this important period in American history.”
The first project assists the City of Dallas, Ga., in the protection of 64 acres on a battlefield where fighting was so fierce that the area, which also witnessed the battles of New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mill, was referred to by veterans as “the Hell Hole.” Since 2001, the City of Dallas has set aside 190 acres of hallowed ground — including two efforts in just the last six months. Local leaders stated that the battlefield park will continue to expand, with eventual plans for archaeological excavations and interpretive trails.
In a second effort, the Civil War Trust is partnering with the American Battlefield Protection Program, the Trust for Public Land and the Georgia Battlefields Association to place a permanent conservation easement held by Gordon County on 474 acres at Resaca, effectively doubling the amount of protected land at the battlefield. The Civil War Trust will provide the final $50,000 needed to complete the $2.7 million transaction.
The battles of Resaca and Dallas were fought in May 1864 and played crucial roles in the dramatic fighting between Union forces under Maj. William T. Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston during the Atlanta Campaign. The rapid growth of the Atlanta suburbs in recent decades has led to the destruction of many battlefields in the region, making the protection of remaining pristine areas a top priority for preservationists. Historical information on both battles, as well as further details on current fundraising efforts is available online at www.civilwar.org/resaca11.
Lighthizer noted that the Civil War Trust’s “Georgia Campaign” is the organization’s first major fundraising initiative since it unveiled a new name and logo on January 11, 2011. “At the time, I promised our members that our look may have changed, but our mission remained exactly the same,” Lighthizer remarked. “I am confident that this exciting challenge to save two vulnerable historic landscapes through an astonishing 67-to-1 matching opportunity underscores that we remain the same efficient and energetic organization, no matter what banner we’re doing business under.”
In addition to the Georgia properties, the Civil War Trust is currently engaged in active fundraising efforts to save significant battlefield properties at Perryville, Ky., Franklin, Tenn., and Glendale, Va. To learn more about these and future opportunities, visit www.civilwar.org/saveabattlefield.
With 55,000 members, the Civil War Trust 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. To date, the Trust has preserved nearly 30,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including more than 1,200 acres in Georgia. Learn more at www.civilwar.org.