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Three get Civil War Trust honors
Edward Wenzel (left), Clark B. 'Bud' Hall (center) and Tersh Boasberg were honored Saturday by the Civil War Trust for their efforts in preserving Civil War battlefield sites.
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Date published: 6/10/2012
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 Heaths-ville--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.