Civil War trust honors battlefield advocate

On Sept. 20, the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest battlefield preservation organization, recognized Chesterfield County’s George L. Fickett, Jr, as one of the two outstanding advocates for the protection of historic sites with its Chairman’s Awards for Excellence, recognizing the recipients’ “tangible contributions to the love and appreciation of history in their communities that will stretch far beyond our lifetimes,” according to Chairman Henry E. Simpson.

Fickett is a geographic information specialist for Chesterfield County, and also serves on the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia’s Military History Committee and the Chesterfield County Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Committee. His work and his extensive knowledge of the county’s Civil War sites have enabled him to become an expert, who is unofficially known as “Mr. Bermuda Hundred,” after the Bermuda Hundred Campaign that took place in Chesterfield County in 1864. Fickett is actively involved in a wide variety of land-use decisions, and individually responsible for nearly every act of battlefield preservation undertaken in the region during the last quarter century — including the creation of eight Chesterfield County parks. Largely a self-taught historian, he has been written about in Civil War Times Illustrated and Blue and Gray Magazine, and has written articles for other publications. He received the National Park Service “Take Pride in America” award in 1987 and the Virginia State Park’s “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2004.  Earlier this summer, he was nominated for a Lifetime Volunteer Award by the Chesterfield Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. This award was conferred upon him by the county’s Board of Supervisors.

“It was a great honor to receive this award from the Civil War Trust,” said Fickett. “It is nice to be recognized for my efforts to bring the Bermuda Hundred Campaign to light after it has being so overshadowed for so many years. The men who fought and died here in Chesterfield County needed to be recognized for their sacrifice.”

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its goal is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War sites and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. To date, it has preserved more than 32,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. For more information, visit www.civilwar.org.

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