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Civil War Trust

Civil War Primer - February 25, 2009

2009 Poster and Essay Contest:
“It’s Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields”
For Grades 4 through 12, by the Civil War Preservation Trust and History

If you had only one minute to convince your elected officials to stop a developer from destroying a Civil War battlefield what would you say?  Why is it better to preserve a historic Civil War battlefield than build a strip mall and housing development?  How will saving the battlefield benefit a community and future generations?  Why does preserving a battlefield make us better people in the long run?

The 2009 motto is “It’s Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields”.  Use and develop this slogan while you create either a poster or an essay to remind Americans that Civil War battlefields are endangered national treasures.


Elementary, for students in grades 4, 5, and 6
Junior, for students in grades 7, 8, and 9
Senior, for students in grades 10, 11, and 12

Junior, for students in grades 7, 8, and 9
Senior, for students in grades 10, 11, and 12

          First -- $200
          Second -- $100
          Third - $50

Students win cash prizes; teachers win gift certificates in equivalent amounts.  History (the History Channel) has graciously donated the prizes.

DEADLINE: All entries must be received in our office by May 15, 2009.

RULES: Students may enter either the poster contest or the essay contest in their age group, but not both. (Note that there is no elementary essay contest.)  There is no group entry category one student per essay or poster.  Posters AND essays must use the slogan as their title, and the title must be spelled correctly.  Each entry must be labeled with the following information.  (Hint:  many teachers create labels in advance, and then attach one label to each entry.)

Teacher Name
Student Name
Student Grade
School Name
School Address
School City, State & Zip
School Phone
Teacher E-mail

Posters will be judged for creativity, quality of artwork, visual impact, and strength of message.

 May not be larger than 14" by 22"
 May be made with markers, crayons, paint, paper cutouts, pen and ink, or any other media that will not smear and will leave the finished poster flat and easy to handle.
 May not use copyrighted materials such as comics, TV characters, professional photographs, etc.  The use of Internet pictures is not preferable.  The poster should consist primarily of student artwork, not pictures.

Essays will be judged for creativity, persuasive quality, clarity, and strength of message.

 Must be approximately 300 words long.
 Must use proper grammar and correct spelling and consist primarily of the student's own words.
 All quotations from diaries and texts must be properly cited.
 Preservation of Civil War battlefields is the main idea to be expressed not just an overview of the war.

Entries will not be returned and become the property of CWPT. Entrants will be notified of contest results in June of 2009 via letter and Hallowed Ground magazine.

Mail Entries To:

CWPT Poster and Essay Contest
Civil War Preservation Trust
11 Public Square, Suite 200
Hagerstown, MD 21740

Need More Information?

Call 1-888-606-1400 or email


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