Published on July 7, 2015

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HARRISONBURG, Virginia — The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District has undergone a rebranding to reach modern travelers and highlight the need for continued preservation efforts.

The historic district rolled out an updated, mobile-friendly website in late June at its final Civil War Sesquicentennial Conference in Staunton. It also introduced a new logo.

Improving the website’s access for mobile device users is vital to reaching young adults and youth, Kevin Walker, the historic district’s CEO, told The Daily News-Record ( ).

“One of the things that’s important to us is keeping a relevant connection between our historic sites and the upcoming generation,” he said. “That’s on their smartphones, and that’s where we wanted to be.”

Walker said the new website is more interactive and is built to be a guide for visitors touring the grounds.

The website had not been redesigned in nearly five years, said Ron Aitcheson, the historic district’s director of policy and communications.

The new logo features an image of Thomas Garland Jefferson. Jefferson was one of the 10 Virginia Military Institute cadets who were killed in action at the Battle of New Market on May 15, 1864, or who died afterward as a result of battle wounds.

The goal of the rebranding is to spur on further preservation efforts, Aitcheson said, and the logo is designed to reflect that need.

“I think (the board) agreed with the staff consensus that we needed to rebrand ourselves for the post-sesquicentennial era,” he said. “We wanted to capture the emotion and the heartache of and after the war as we need to continue to preserve Civil War battlefields.”