As part of its commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial and coinciding with events marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, the National Park Service has launched a Civil War themed website * that provides an overview of the war, with special emphasis on the Civil War sites administered and preserved by the National Park Service.
The website features a wide range of richly-illustrated content, including stories of the Civil War, ranging from causes of the conflict to its consequences; biographies of notable individuals associated with the war, both military and civilian; places within the National Park System that interpret the Civil War; and information on the ways in which the National Park Service preserves Civil War battlefields, objects, landscapes and other historic resources. New content will be added regularly, so visitors are encouraged to check back to the site often.
“More than a quarter of all national parks preserve Civil War sites or tell stories related to the war. This website offers a single online point of reference for the National Park Service’s Civil War resources and will be an invaluable tool for both students of the Civil War and visitors to our historic sites,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “It also gives the war and events that occurred a century and a half ago meaning to 21st-century Americans.”
Among other features of the new website are:
Plan Your Visit – An interactive trip planning tool includes more than 1,700 Civil War sites around the country, including more than 100 national parks with Civil War themes. With just a few clicks of the mouse, visitors can plan a trip to Civil War sites from northwest Washington state (San Juan Island National Historical Park, where General George Pickett first made a name for himself to the Florida Keys (Fort Jefferson, where Union prisoners were held, today part of Dry Tortugas National Park and more than 1,700 partner sites in between, including state and privately administered Civil War-themed historic sites and museums.
The Plan Your Visit tool provides maps, distances, turn-by-turn directions, and a description of and links to additional information about each of the sites.
Timeline – A comprehensive, interactive timeline of the causes, events and Civil Rights legacies of the Civil War spanning nearly 400 years of American history, from the foundations of slavery with the arrival of the first Africans in America in 1619 to the present day.
Civil War Reporter – Follow the adventures of Beglan O’Brien, a fictional Civil War era correspondent, whose daily reports on events from 150 years ago are streamed to the website via Twitter. In addition to the nps.gov/civilwar website, he can also be followed directly on Twitter (search CivilWarReportr) and Facebook (search Civil War Reporter). From the politics of the day to eyewitness accounts of events to fashion of the Civil War, O’Brien’s nose for news promises to deliver fascinating updates, rumor and information of the Civil War era.
Related Resources – The website also includes links to other National Park Service Civil War resources, including the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, the more than 100 National Parks that tell the story of the Civil War and its enduring legacies, and Then & Now features showing how the events of 150 years ago continue to influence the America of the 21st century.
*Because all National Park homepages were re-skinned at the same time, you may encounter an NPS server outage, but it is being quickly fixed.
**Image courtesy Shiloh National Military Park