We asked our authors to take a look back at 2011 and share their favorite Civil War-related memories. Here are some thoughts from Ashley Whitehead:
For me, one of the greatest things about my job and my Civil War-related experiences in 2011 was meeting young Andrew Druart, from Texas, and his dad, Tad, when they came to Virginia to tour around the Civil War battlefields this June. Though he is still such a young boy, Andrew proved himself to be quite the knowledgeable and passionate scholar of Civil War history, and a highly-dedicated advocate of battlefield preservation. The creator of his own website and blog, titled “Civil War Kids,” Andrew has shared his research and adventures of traveling around the battlefields of the country with hundreds, if not thousands, of other budding Civil War historians and enthusiasts. He also personally has helped to raise awareness about battlefield preservation and has helped to save more than one parcel of threatened battlefield property. His energy, passion and dedication to studying the Civil War was truly inspirational, and his updates on Facebook through Civil War Kids about all of his discoveries, findings, and projects are a constant reminder of why I am in this profession and of my love for educating and interpreting for visitors of all ages. Furthermore, Andrew’s support of our work here at RNBP through Civil War Kids has been so very appreciated by our park staff. Not to mention, Andrew is one of the most polite, respectful and engaging youngsters I have ever met! Several of us Park Rangers were fortunate enough to make Andrew’s acquaintance this summer as he made his way around the battlefields with his dad. I only wish I could have spent more time with him! I know I can speak for every individual who met Andrew this summer when I say that he has inspired us and our work hopefully as much as we have inspired him during his travels!