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Trust's goal: 20K acres page 2
Civil War Trust hopes to preserve 20,000 battlefield acres and fund education work.

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Date published: 7/3/2011


People can also give through the trust's website, civilwar.org, a trove of photos, animated maps, historian videos, period accounts and iPhone apps for battlefields, including Fredericksburg and Gettysburg.

Campaign 150's goal, trust spokeswoman Mary Koik said, is to fill in the critical gaps that would prevent visitors from getting a "transformative," you-are-there feeling for what historians think are the conflict's most important places.

One of those historians, Pulitzer Prize winner James McPherson, spoke at the Gettysburg kickoff, saying the sesquicentennial is the moment for such a bold initiative.

"If successful, Campaign 150 will have allowed us to set aside those landscapes that future generations will require in order to gain a full understanding of the Civil War," he said. "This project will enable us to substantively complete protection of many of the conflict's storied fields."

Over the past decade, one parcel at a time, the 55,000-member trust has preserved 30,000 acres in 30 states and raised $180 million from private and public sources.

Virginia is certain to figure significantly in the campaign, as it did in the war, Koik said. More battles were fought in the commonwealth than in any other state.

The trust has preserved more than 16,000 acres in Virginia, more than anywhere else. Some of its most significant sites in the state are at Petersburg; the Glendale, Malvern Hill and First Deep Bottom battlefields around Richmond; the Third Winchester battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley; and a 1,500-acre portion of the Brandy Station cavalry battlefield in Culpeper County.

Locally, its most recent high-profile acquisitions include the Middlebrook Tract on Saunders Field at the Wilderness and the Payne's Farm battlefield, both in Orange County; the Wagner Tract, where Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's troops overwhelmed the Union defenses at Chancellorsville; the First Day at Chancellorsville battlefield along State Route 3; and the Slaughter Pen along Routes 2 and 17 in Spotsylvania County.

But "there is still plenty of work to be done in Virginia," Koik said of the trust's plans in the state.

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In honor of the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War Trust has a gift for smartphone owners. Its Gettysburg "battle app," a GPS-enabled mobile battlefield tour, is free for downloading today. The app, usually $2.99, is available from Apple's iTunes Store. Optimized for use on iPhones and iPod Touches, it works on the iPad.

Covering the action at Devil's Den and Little Round Top, the app delivers audio, video and other interactive features to immerse users--on- or off-site--in the experience of battle.

"Our goal is to encourage visitors to engage with history in a new way," said Garry Adelman, the trust's director of history and education. With this app, you can visit the battlefield with a wealth of information at your fingertips."

Another app is available for the Battle of Fredericksburg, and the trust will release its Battle of Bull Run/First Manassas app in mid-July for the 150th anniversary of that engagement. Details can be found at civilwar.org/battleapp.

Twenty-first-century technology will be an ally in protecting 19th-century history, the Civil War Trust hopes. For the first time, people can now contribute directly to its work by text message, any time, anywhere. Texting "civilwar" to 50555 will make a one-time $10 charge appear on their wireless bill or be deducted from their prepaid balance.