The National Park Service has launched a Civil War website, which provides a richly illustrated overview of the war with special emphasis on the National Park Service’s (NPS) Civil War sites.
The launch, commemorating the war’s sesquicentennial (1861-1865) and coinciding with events marking the Battle of Shiloh’s 150th anniversary in April, helps plan trips to that Tennessee national park, and more than 1,700 Civil War other sites across the United States.
NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said April 4 that the website “will be an invaluable tool for both students of the Civil War and visitors to our historic sites.” More than a quarter of all national parks preserve Civil War sites or tell stories related to the war.
“It also gives the war and events that occurred a century and a half ago meaning to 21st-century Americans,” Jarvis added.
Features of the new website include:
- Trip planning – An interactive trip planning tool has maps, turn-by-turn directions, and additional (linked) information about more than 1,700 Civil War sites, including more than 100 national parks with Civil War themes. These range from
o Northwest Washington state (San Juan Island National Historical Park, General George Pickett first made a name for himself;
o Florida Keys (Fort Jefferson, where Union prisoners were held, and now part of Dry Tortugas National Park;
o Maryland’s Antietam National Battlefield, the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, with 23,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing after 12 hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862. The Antietam battle led to Abraham Lincoln issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
- Timeline – A comprehensive, interactive timeline of the causes, events, and Civil Rights legacies of the Civil War spanning nearly 400 years of American history. This begins with the foundations of slavery, the 1619 arrival of the first Africans in America, to the present day.
- Find a Person – More than 6.3 million records can be searched for soldiers, sailors, regiments, Medals of Honor…
- Related Resources– The website also includes links to other National Park Service Civil War resources, including a Then & Now feature showing how events of 150 years ago continue to influence 21st century America.
- Civil War Reporter Tweets – Fictional Civil War era correspondent Beglan O’Brien Tweets daily on events from 150 years ago. In addition to nps.gov/civilwar, follow O’Brien directly on Twitter (search CivilWarReportr) and Facebook (search Civil War Reporter). (That’s Twitter CivilWarReportr no second “e” and Facebook Civil War Reporter.) O’Brien will opine on the war’s politics of the day, eyewitness accounts, and even fashion info.
For more info: National Park Service Civil War Site, www.nps.gov/civilwar.