I would be remiss if I did not point out the fact that my friend Clark B. “Bud” Hall has been given the highest possible award to recognize his work with battlefield preservation by the Civil War Trust last night at its annual meeting.

The following article appeared in today’s Fredericksburg Freelance-Star newspaper:

Civil War Trust Honors Trio
Edward Wenzel, Clark B. “Bud” Hall and Tersh Boasberg receive lifetime awards; recognized as fathers of today’s battlefield preservation movement

RICHMOND—People have been saving pieces of Civil War battlefields since not long after the guns fell silent at Gettysburg in July of 1863.

But such efforts accelerated hugely in the past 30 years, as suburban sprawl and breakneck development spelled the last chance to set aside key places where soldiers in blue and gray fought to the death.

Saturday night, three of the giants of that modern battlefield preservation movement were honored here by the Civil War Trust, itself spawned by those three men and their contemporaries.

Two Virginians—Edward Wenzel of Vienna and Clark B. “Bud” Hall of Heathsville—and Tersh Boasberg of Washington, D.C., received the trust’s Edwin C. Bearrs Lifetime Achievement Award for their decades of devoted work and volunteerism.

Each have “demonstrated exceptional merit in and extensive commitment to Civil War battlefield preservation,” according to the trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to such efforts:

– Wenzel fought fiercely to save the Chantilly battlefield in western Fairfax County. Its destruction spurred creation of the first national battlefield advocacy group, the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, based in Fredericksburg. APCWS later merged with the Civil War Trust. Wenzel was also a driving force in the Save the Battlefield Coalition, which waged an against-all-odds battle against a regional mall and mixed-use development on the Second Manassas battlefield site in 1988.

That fallout from that ultimately successful crusade led Congress to create the blue-ribbon American Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, whose work remains the blueprint for ongoing governmental and private-sector work to recognize and preserve the best of remaining battlefield properties.

– Hall campaigned alongside Wenzel to try to preserve Chantilly (known by Confederates as Ox Hill), now the site of housing subdivisions and commercial development, and worked with the brand-new APCWS. Hall founded the Brandy Station Foundation, which defeated two huge development schemes—including a Formula One racetrack—proposed for that cavalry battlefield in Culpeper County. Today, the preserved and interpreted Brandy Station battlefield is one of the trust’s crowning achievements.

– Boasberg, one of the country’s top land-use and preservation attorneys, provided the legal expertise that made possible some of the movement’s early battlefield preservation victories, including the Manassas and Brandy Station campaigns. His broad vision and Capitol Hill advocacy contributed to lawmakers’ establishment of the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission. In 2010, Boasberg ended a decade-long tenure as chair of Washington’s Historic Preservation Review Board.

James Lighthizer, the trust’s president, said the trio—along with one other Virginian and a Virginia museum also honored Saturday night—“represent the epitome of the historic preservation movement.”

“Their efforts stretch across decades, demonstrating the way that concerted and consistent work can culminate in monumental achievements that will be felt for generations to come,” he told 400-plus attendees and guests during a banquet at the trust’s 2012 Annual Conference in the former Confederate capital.

The trust presented its Carrington Williams Battlefield Preservationist of the Year Award, named for the trust’s first chairman, to Mark Perreault of Norfolk.

Perreault co-founded Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, which was instrumental in President Obama’s action last year to create the 96th unit of the National Park System. Fort Monroe was the site of Union Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler’s landmark “contraband decision,” which deemed escaped slaves who reached Union lines to be spoils of war who would not be returned to their masters.

By the end of the war, more than 10,000 men and women had escaped bondage and journeyed to what came to be called “Freedom’s Fortress.”

Their experience and Butler’s decision is vividly described in author Adam Goodheart’s best-selling history, “1861: A Civil War Awakening.”

The trust presented its Brian C. Pohanka Preservation Organization of the Year Award, named after the late Virginia historian and preservationist, to the Museum of the Confederacy, headquartered in Richmond, and the Friends and Descendants of Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison, in Ohio.

VIDEO: civilwar.org/ourmissionvideo

Clint Schemmer: 540/368-5029

That’s Ed Wenzel on the left, Bud Hall in the middle, and Tersh Boasberg on the right in the 1996 photo at the beginning of this post.

Congratulations to all for having your selfless preservation work recognized–at last, IMHO–but especially to Bud Hall. Personally, I can think of nobody more worthy or more deserving of winning this sort of an award.

Now, let’s remember that this is the same Bud Hall whose membership in the Brandy Station Foundation was terminated by Joe McKinney and his merry band of appeasers because he was supposedly a bad influence on the organization that he founded. How does that egg all over your face taste, Mr. McKinney and your board of dolts? There’s certainly plenty of it for you to eat. Have a nice side of crow to go with it.

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