Published on June 29, 2015

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By Linda Wheeler June 26, Washington Post, A House Divided

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, headquartered in New Market, Va., has unveiled a new logo and announced an enlarged mission to go with it. This is its third logo. The first two had abstract depictions of Civil War soldiers but this one has the image of an actual teenage soldier who died in battle in the valley.

Foundation chief executive officer Keven Walker said the face is of Thomas Garland Jefferson, a Virginia Military Institute student, who died at the Battle of New Market when Confederate officers reluctantly sent him and about 200 other students into what became a successful attack on Union lines.

Walker said the foundation wanted a young man on the new red, white and blue logo because it not only represented the youth of many of the Civil War soldiers but might also draw into the battlefield preservation movement younger people who are not now involved in learning about the war.

“It is a compelling image and comes with a compelling story,” Walker said of the new logo. “We have a real face and a youthful face.”

The compelling story about Jefferson is what happened after he was shot in the chest. Two of his classmates stopped to help him but he told them to keep going as he pointed to the advancing line of cadets. “You can do nothing for me. Go to the front; there is the place for you,” he said.

The enlarged mission is also represented in the logo, which does not have the foundation’s name on it. The wording says, “Shenandoah At War” and “National Historic District.

Walker said he sees the future of battlefield preservation in the Shenandoah Valley as a cooperative venture rather than several individual, preservation-related groups each working for themselves. The national historic district is what is important.

“The Foundation is not as important as the historic district,” he said in an interview. “The new logo represents all of us in the Valley who are working to preserve battlefields. We wanted to promote the district.”