Tag Archives: American Civil War

A Virtual Tour of Gettysburg

As we prepare for the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, there is a broad array of information on the topic. If you would like to hear a modern rendition of the speech, listen here.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History highlights the battle in an interactive tour.

If you would like another interactive resource, check out the Civil War Battlefield App, Gettysburg (free).

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Gettysburg: Insights & Perspectives

Thure de Thulstrup, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Thure de Thulstrup, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On July 1, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg began in Pennsylvania. It is one of the most important battles of the American Civil War. The Fall edition of History Now, the quarterly online journal published by the Gilder Lehrman Institute, highlights and explores and the battle from leadership, urban impact, and the pivotal speech by President Abraham Lincoln.

The publication is free to students and teachers. In addition to scholarly articles, it provides numerous educational resources. If you are interested in American History, it’s a great publication.

Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln

Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863Today is the 204th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is one of America’s most celebrated Presidents, having served during the Union’s darkest time – the Civil War. His problematic tenure in office saw the United States nearly torn apart, the abolition of slavery, and the beginnings of our reunification. His assassination at Ford’s Theatre in April 1865 ensured he would not live to see the survival of his beloved country.

To learn more about Abraham Lincoln, visit the website for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the National Park Service’s Lincoln Memorial.

The Uncertain Promise of Freedom’s Light: Black Soldiers in The Civil War | Around The Mall

Black soldiers could not officially join the Union army until the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. But, on the ground, they had been fighting and dying from the beginning.

When three escaped slaves arrived at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, in May, 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler had to make a choice. Under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, he was compelled to return the men into the hands of the slaveowner. But Virginia had just signed the ordinances of secession. Butler determined that he was now operating in a foreign territory and declared the men “contraband of war.”

When more enslaved men, women and children arrived at the fort, Butler wrote to Washington for advice. In these early days of the Civil War, Lincoln avoided… The Uncertain Promise of Freedom’s Light: Black Soldiers in The Civil War | Around The Mall.

Death Toll of the American Civil War Higher Than Previously Thought

Andersonville Cemetery courtesy of Wikipedia

The American Civil War was the most devastating American Conflict in our history. New research indicates that the death toll was significantly higher than previously determined.

“The Civil War left a culture of death, a culture of mourning, beyond anything Americans had ever experienced or imagined,” David Blight, Yale University.

Previous estimates had put the death toll at around 620,000 (with most dying from infection and disease). New research puts than number at 750,000 (more than 21% higher than previous determinations). These findings are published in in the December 2011 issue of Civil War Magazine by Dr. David Hacker.

To learn more about the new research, see the article listed above or the briefer article on at BBC News.

The Faces of the Crewmen of the USS Monitor to be Reconstructed

Crew of the USS Monitor

The USS Monitor was one of the first iron clad naval ships and most famous for engaging in battle with the Merrimack (in the first battle between ironclad ships). When the turret of the Monitor was raised, two skeletons were found along with it.

Now, forensic anthropologists are using the skulls of the deceased crewmen in an attempt to reconstruct the faces of the ship’s sailors. The men both appear to be Caucasian and between the ages of 17 and 24.  If successful, this will be the first time their faces have been seen in more than a hundred and fifty years.

To learn more about the USS Monitor, see the article in MSNBC.

H. L. Hunley (Civil War Submarine) Revealed for the First Time

The Civil War submarine, the H. L. Hunley, has finally been unveiled in Charleston, South Carolina. The Hunley, which had several unsuccessful training exercises (resulting in the death of her crew), sank for the third and final time on February 17, 1864.

The rediscovery of and subsequent raising of the Hunley has raised great interest amongst historians and lay-men alike. Now, with this display, individuals are now able to see the Hunley for the first time for more than a century.

“No one alive has ever seen the Hunley complete. We’re going to see it today,” engineer John King

To learn more about the Hunley, its raising, conservation, and see the gorgeous images of this innovative confederate ship, see the article on MSNBC.