Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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Now, it’s the ‘Civil War Trust’

As of today, America’s premiere battlefield preservation group has a new name and a new look.

In a letter to its 55,000 members sent last night, the former Civil War Preservation Trust announced that it has shortened its name to the Civil War Trust.

Along with that new identity, the group released a new logo representing its efforts to conserve the historic sites of the nation’s bloodiest conflict. The logo features the silhouettes of two soldiers, Union and Confederate, honoring the memory of the men who fought.

The changes dovetail with state and national commemorations of the Civil War’s 150 anniversary, which start this year.

In an online video message to the group’s membership, Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer called the re-branding part of a natural evolution in its efforts.

“After careful thought and deliberation, we determined that the time was right to modernize our image to better reflect the Civil War Trust’s mission and to reach more Americans concerned about our shared heritage,” Lighthizer said. “We hope that unveiling this change at such an exciting time—as the sesquicentennial stimulates interest in the Civil War and the hallowed battlegrounds where that conflict was decided—will also help generate greater support for battlefield preservation.”

Since its first parent organization’s founding in Fredericksburg in 1987, the trust has saved some 29,000 acres of battlefields in 20 states. Locally, it is raising millions of dollars to preserve the heart of the Wilderness battlefield in Orange County and the “Slaughter” Pen portion of the Fredericksburg battlefield in Spotsylvania County.

More information on the name and logo changes is available at

Lighthizer’s message can be viewed at

A video message from John Nau III, chairman of the trust’s board of directors, can be seen at

In his remarks, Nau calls the changes a “momentous move” and notes that the trust sought early feedback on the proposed overhaul of the organization’s symbol.

“The responses we received confirmed what we had suspected, that members want a clear, concise logo that draws an explicit connection to the hallowed ground we work so hard to protect,” he says.

Tuesday’s Free Lance-Star story about the switch is at