Among the cyclists, picnickers and Civil War buffs milling around the Chickamauga Battlefield this weekend, one group is just as interested in the way history is being preserved as in the history itself.
The Civil War Trust has a group of major donors touring Chattanooga, Chicka-mauga and Resaca as part of its annual Grand Review.
"They have a little more than your average interest in the Civil War," said Jim Ogden, historian with the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. "All of these people are very supportive of the preservation of Civil War sites."
Their visit coincides with the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Chicka-mauga and marks a point two years out from the much-heralded 150th anniversary in 2013.
Ogden, who received the Chairman's Award for Excellence in Preservation from the group in a ceremony this week, said it's a chance for the area to showcase its preservation efforts. In addition to the national park sites, the visitors will also see more recently preserved historical sites on the Chattanooga Riverwalk and at the Resaca battlefield in North Georgia.
"It also will show there is preservation potential, that there has been preservation success," Ogden said. "That is certainly a message that I will be giving."
Mary Koik, a spokeswoman for the Trust, said the tour group represents the "dream audience" for preservation projects.
Chattanooga, she said, is known for putting together groups with conservation, recreation and historical interests to achieve common preservation goals.
"The whole area is really great to show that collaboration," she said.
Ogden said the exposure can't hurt future efforts in the region and could be a good chance for historical preservationists to meet potential allies.
"Sometimes those even with seemingly common interests have trouble linking up," he said.