The Civil War Trust story began in 1987, when twenty or so stalwart souls met to discuss what could be done to protect the rapidly disappearing battlefields around them. Calling themselves the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (APCWS), they were spurred to action watching the expanding suburbs of Washington, D.C. destroy Northern Virginia battlefields. The only way to save these sites for posterity, they decided, was to buy the physical landscapes themselves.
As word of efforts to protect these battlefields spread among the Civil War community, both membership and accomplishment lists began to grow steadily. In 1991, another national organization, the Civil War Trust (CWT), appeared on the scene to further efforts to protect these vanishing historic landscapes. Eight years later, in an attempt to increase the efficiency with which preservation opportunities could be pursued, the two groups merged to become the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), with Jim Lighthizer, a former Maryland Secretary of Transportation and pioneer in the use of Transportation Enhancement highway funds for historic landscape preservation, at the helm.
In a letter to its 55,000 members, the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to protecting Civil War battlefields announced this evening that it has shortened its name to the Civil War Trust. To accompany the new identity, the group also debuted a dynamic new logo to better graphically represent its land conservation mission. The changes coincide with the nation’s Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration, which begins in earnest this year. Both transitions take effect immediately.
Text and Image Sources: Civil War Trust History and Civil War Interactive Wire.