Pennsylvania Round Table Donates $53,000.000 to CVBT
The Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania announced it has designated a departed member’s bequest to be donated to help save three of Virginia’s endangered battlefields.
The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, based in Fredericksburg, will receive $53,000 to help preserve 93 acres of the Wilderness battlefield. The trust has been saving endangered hallowed ground for nearly twelve years and has helped save over 900 acres of otherwise lost battlefields in Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania and the Wilderness.
This donation is due to the generosity and dedication to preservation of a recently departed round table member, Karl M. Lehr. Karl passed away at the age of 93 on February 19, 2009.
The Board of Directors and the Preservation and Restoration Committee of the round table, led by Jack Minnich, determined to honor Karl in the best possible way and that is to further the cause of historic preservation. Consequently, the round table has added to Karl’s legacy for a total of $128,000.
Lehr was a native of Allentown, Pa., and was a 30-year member of the round table who contributed to many preservation efforts and fought to save Grove Farm at Antietam.
The veteran of World War II's Normandy invasion entrusted his estate to the Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania. Born in Allentown, he was a 1936 graduate of Muhlenberg College. During World War II Karl held the rank of Technical Sergeant and was a part of history during three major invasions. As a member of the First Signal Detachment on the USS Ancon, flagship for the landing at Omaha Beach, he was at Normandy on June 6, 1944. He had also taken part in the earlier landings at Sicily and Salerno, Italy in 1943. Karl later became Sergeant of the Eiffel Tower Guard and was a staff member of the U.S. Army University in England. Post-war he was a Fulbright teacher in Cologne, Germany in 1957-58 and his teaching career in New Jersey and Illinois spanned 42 years.
The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust will apply Lehr’s gift to the Wilderness Crossroads, on the corner State Routes 3 and 20. This 93-acre tract played a roll in both the battles of Chancellorsville in May 1863 and the Wilderness in 1864 and includes still pristine original roads troops used to filter into the main area’s of the bloody Wilderness battle where Gant and Lee first faced each other.
"We are tremendously grateful for this bequest and will use it, as instructed, to preserve dirt and grass. We cannot say enough good things about the Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania," CVBT President Erik Nelson said. "Even before this donation, these Pennsylvanians have provided more support to the CVBT mission than any other Civil War round table in the nation. They are superb! And with the tremendous support of other local round tables for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust that is saying a lot”.
The purchase price of this land was $930,000.00 plus additional expenses. The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust has worked hard to receive grants towards this large mortgage but still needs $225,000.00 to pay off the purchase.
“This gift will in fact be multiplied with our matching grants and greatly enhances Mr. Lehr’s contribution”. Stated the Trusts Director of Communications Tom Van Winkle.” “We moved with the utmost urgency last year to buy the tract when Orange County approved a Walmart Supercenter to be built a short distance from the Wilderness battlefield, we knew this corner would be next.”
The round table also donated another $53,000 to the Richmond Battlefields Association toward purchase of 13 acres at Fussell's Mill and 4 acres at the Malvern Hill battlefield.
The Washington based Civil War Preservation Trust will get $22,000 for 10 acres at Manassas.
"Karl's legacy of honor, commitment and generosity remains," said Jeff Gates, the round table's spokesman. "Our board of directors and Preservation and Restoration Committee determined to honor him in the best way possible--by furthering the cause of historic preservation."
These three organizations "proven track record," efficient use of donations and the way they multiply the private contributions with matching funds were the primary reasons why the Eastern Pennsylvania round table said it selected the three nonprofit groups.
The round table stated “In many cases they have entered into cooperative agreements. They are not competitors, but kindred souls serving a common cause”.
The Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in 1978 dedicated to serving the broad community's education needs concerning the American Civil War and to historic site preservation. Since its inception and prior to Mr. Lehr’s gift, over $120,000 (not including matching funds) has been raised to support numerous preservation and restoration projects. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the Civil War.
Civil War Round Table of Eastern Pennsylvania email@example.com