We are happy to welcome Dr. Mike Stevens as an author at Emerging Civil War. Mike has been a pillar in the Virginia preservation community for the last 15 years. Mike currently serves as President of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. Below is a letter from the author. Welcome Mike!
Many thanks to Kris and the gang for inviting me to participate in this new venture, Emerging Civil War. I must acknowledge up front that I am not a historian, have never published a thing or done any original research, and spend my day working with my wife in a medical office. So what could I possibly contribute to this blog read by folks who are serious students of the Civil War?
Well, I may do medicine for a living, but preserving Civil War battlefields has become my passion, and I have been invited to submit essays from time to time about battlefield preservation in general, and about my organization, Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) in particular.
I’ll let you know who we are and what we’re about, what we’re trying to accomplish, and the reasons why we believe battlefield preservation is so important. I’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening in our local community in regard to the preservation effort, and I hope to become an effective resource for any questions or concerns you may have about battlefield preservation and our local community.
(When I speak to folks about CVBT and battlefield preservation, I’m often asked: “What is it about a Civil War battlefield that makes it so special? After all, the Civil War was fought almost 150 years ago, it’s been over for years, it’s history, and the ground is just sitting there, waiting to be put to use, waiting to be built upon, waiting to be profited from. Keep it as a battlefield and all you’ve done is to create a lost profit opportunity, a lost tax base, an underutilized economic and social wasteland. What is it with you preservationists? What are you thinking?”)
Over the course of next few months, I hope to explain what motivates us preservationists, to explain the source of our passion to preserve these fields, to inspire those of you who don’t understand to begin to see why ordinary folks like those of us involved in the leadership of CVBT, seemingly intelligent and perceptive members of this community, are as passionate as we are about preserving Civil War battlefields, are as willing as we are to expend the extraordinary amounts of time and effort we do in order to do so.
I encourage dialogue, constructive criticism, and questions. And I invite you to go to our website CVBT for more information, and most respectfully request that you join us in our effort. More later.