Join the "Georgia Campaign" to Save 538 Acres at the Resaca and Dallas Battlefields
A Message from Jim Lighthizer, Civil War Trust President
Dear Friend and Fellow Preservationist,
Today, I have two very important things to tell you about:
The first one is obvious as you look at this page: The Civil War Preservation Trust has shortened its name to “The Civil War Trust,” and as you can see, we have – after more than two decades – updated our organizational logo.
(I will explain to you, in some detail, why we have decided to make these exciting changes in just a moment.)
The second important thing I have to tell you is that for the first time in many years, we have the chance to save over 500 acres of absolutely crucial hallowed ground at two enormously important Georgia battlefields…
… with a nearly $67-to-$1 match of your donation dollar!
That’s what I call starting the year off with a bang!
So you see, even if our “look” has changed somewhat and even if our name is a little different…
… our battlefield preservation mission remains exactly the same!
And as we head into the year 2011, and prepare for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, let me first quickly tell you about these tremendous opportunities to multiply your generosity nearly $67-to-$1 to save almost 538 acres in Georgia.
The first opportunity is at the battlefield at Resaca, where Trust members like you have already helped to save 565 acres.
Today, working with key partner groups like the Trust for Public Land, the federal American Battlefield Protection Program and the Georgia Battlefields Association, you and I are being asked to put the final $50,000 into a whopping $2.7 million deal to protect an additional 473.5 core acres! That alone would make this on of the most favorable deals we’ve ever done, my friend, but it gets even better.
Because at the same time, we have been asked by the local government at the City of Dallas to help them close a $750,000 transaction, saving 64.4 acres at the Dallas battlefield – with a grant of just $1,585!
If you’re keeping score, this means that for just $51,585 from the Civil War Trust, we can save a combined 537.9 acres of endangered Georgia battlefield land worth $3,450,000!
And if we are successful, this would lead to an even bigger announcement:
We have now saved over 30,000 acres of hallowed ground!
That is a remarkable accomplishment, and I give all the credit to you and your fellow Trust members, because without your incredible, wonderful generosity, we couldn’t save a square foot, let alone 30,000 acres.
So today, to start 2011 off right, I hope that you will support the Civil War Trust’s “Georgia Campaign” to help save nearly 538 acres of endangered Georgia battlefield land worth $3,450,000, and multiply every $1 you send into nearly $67!
Let me briefly tell you about each of these important properties, realizing that you can always go onto our world-class website for even more information than I could ever stuff into an envelope. (It’s so easy. Just go to www.Civilwar.org/Resaca11 for information)
The land we are helping to save at Resaca is on the key northern part of the battlefield, where much of the heaviest fighting occurred on May 14 and 15, 1864, in the opening weeks of William Tecumseh Sherman’s “Atlanta Campaign.”
After a week of maneuvering, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston concentrated his 60,000-man Army of Tennessee into fish-hook-shaped line four-and-a-half miles long on the hills north of the town of Resaca, inviting an attack from Sherman’s 110,000-man army. Over two days, Union and Confederates forces attacked and counterattacked across this ground, with both armies losing approximately 2,800 men in the fighting.)
The land we are saving also contains one of the major landmarks of this fight, Van Den Corput’s battery. Union forces under Joseph Hooker were able to briefly seize the earthen fort that contained this four-gun Confederate battery, but they were quickly driven out by withering fire.
For the rest of the day on May 15th, the fort stood unoccupied by either side in a murderous “no man’s land.” During the night, Union forces were able to knock down the walls of the fort and drag away the four guns, but it was the only prize of the day for the Federals. Johnston’s army pulled away during the night, continuing to search for an advantageous position where he could turn the tide.
Two weeks later, on May 28, 1864, almost the same number of men (2,400 USA / 3,000 CSA) would fall in furious fighting at the Battle of Dallas. This followed two days of pitched battles at nearby New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mills.
Johnston, trying his own assault to attempt to turn the Union line, sent General William Bates’ division into battle, where they were butchered, losing half their number. A few days later, the Union forces continued their flanking movements, forcing Johnston to once again give up valuable ground.
Both of these key sites tell crucial portions of the story of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. And because so much of the Atlanta battlefields have been destroyed, paved over decades ago, it makes rare and threatened places like Resaca and Dallas all the more valuable.
These sites, endangered by modern development, would be worthy of our best efforts to save them even if we did not have any matching funds involved. But when we can save 538 acres of endangered Georgia battlefield land worth $3,450,000, and multiply every $1 you send today into nearly $67 – well, in my book, this is as close to a “no-brainer” as we are ever likely to get.
So today, I ask you to help support this amazing opportunity by making your most generous possible gift to the Civil War Trust, in support of our $67-to-$1 “Georgia Campaign.”
And as I promised, let me tell you why we have made the decision to simplify our organizational name and update our logo.
First, I should let you know that these changes were not taken lightly. They are the result of much discussion, testing and design work that we undertook for more than a year. “But Jim,” you might be asking, “why go to all this time and trouble at all?”
Well, when we looked at our business, the economic conditions and the unique opportunity to take advantage of, for all of us, a once-in-a-lifetime event – the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War – the all-volunteer board of trustees and I believed it was the right time to update our look and make this transition, to expand our appeal to even more people.
And when we started analyzing it, we discovered that, except for CWPT members and a few people in the Civil War community, the general public did not know what the heck “CWPT” stood for!
When you looked at it objectively – not emotionally – our old logo was an oval that featured North and South flags and the acronym "CWPT" and, again, not many people knew what those letters stood for. It did not tell you what we did as an organization.
Our updated logo, first and foremost, incorporates the land. As the preservation of hallowed ground is our primary mission, we believed this was vitally important to emphasize in the design.
The next thing you will notice is that the logo also incorporates the soldiers, North and South, who we seek to honor and remember, along with their flags, so that we inclusively recognize everyone’s heritage. These soldiers are also linked directly to the land, to further call attention to the importance of saving the significant terrain of the Civil War.
This logo features the complete, shortened name of the organization, so it eliminates the confusion of an acronym, increasing our name recognition. It also incorporates the website address, which is a vital and absolutely necessary component in today's competitive 21st century marketplace.
Further, this logo also presents the tagline – “Saving America’s Civil War Battlefields” – that clearly defines our mission and identifies us at a glance to new audiences.
Finally, our previous logo had been in use in one form or another for two decades, and organizational logos usually evolve over time.
So, in weighing all these factors, and realizing that we will never have a better chance to reach more potential supporters than during the next four years of the Sesquicentennial, we simply believed that it was the right time to launch these modifications.
But as I said a few minutes ago, even though our letterhead and stationery may look a little different, the underlying effective and efficient organization, as well as our mission of saving America’s remaining unprotected Civil War battlefield land have not changed one bit!
I believe that a $67-to-$1 matching opportunity to save 538 acres of important Georgia Civil War hallowed ground is pretty good evidence of that!
I understand that some people may not like the new logo; some folks just don’t like change of any kind. Mark Twain said, “I’m all for progress; it’s change I don’t like!”
I certainly hope that you agree that we are making progress with the updated logo and easier-to-remember name. And as a valued member of the Trust, I hope that, along with your generous contribution today that turns every $1 donated into $67, you will share your opinion about the name and logo on our website at Civilwar.org/logo.
I hope, however, that you will jump at this chance to help the Civil War Trust save – for the first time in nearly 10 years – some absolutely irreplaceable hallowed ground in Georgia, as our gift to future generations. I thank you for all you have already done for this important cause.
P.S. There have not been too many times in our history when the Trust was able to multiply your gift by a matching factor this high -- $67-to-$1. Please help take advantage of this historic and “history-saving” opportunity, and get 2011 – America’s Civil War Sesquicentennial – started off right. Remember: Shorter name, updated logo, same mission! Thank you once again!