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Resource Roundup: Civil War Sesquicentennial Tools
2/22/2011
Excited about the opportunities to relive history during the Civil War's 150th anniversary? We are, too -- so we mustered the best sesquicentennial offerings from around the web to celebrate.
Excited about the opportunities to relive history during the Civil War's 150th anniversary? We are, too -- so we mustered the best sesquicentennial offerings from around the web to celebrate. You no longer need a tour guide to lead you through a battlefield, and you don't have to take a trip to the library to bone up on Civil War history. Use these 21st-century tools to party like it's 1861. 

Virtual visits

The National Park Service offers digital versions of museum exhibits from historic sites and battlefields on its website, including several Civil War collections. From the Vicksburg, Miss., battlefield to Abraham Lincoln's Springfield, Ill., home, you can explore key Civil War locations without leaving your living room:
  • Take an up-close look at letters, paintings and artifacts from Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee memorial. The collection features an interactive Lee family tree and family biographies.
  • The Clara Barton House exhibit details the life of the Civil War nurse who founded the American Red Cross.
  • Peek into a soldier's day-to-day life in the Gettysburg Civil War Collection by examining artifacts from a typical Civil War military camp, from canteens to clothing to card games.
  • Flags served an integral role in the war, as they were used to identify regiments and mark locations in camp. Symbols of Battle displays flags from Appomattox, Gettysburg and other historic sites.
  • Discover the importance of river warfare at the Battle of Vicksburg exhibit and tour the recently raised U.S.S. Cairo, an ironclad gunboat sunk during the siege.
  • Poke around Lincoln's Springfield, Ill., house or peruse Lincoln memorabilia in the Lincoln Home exhibit. It even features Mary Lincoln's white cake recipe.
  • The Frederick Douglass House web exhibit chronicles the life of the slave-turned-statesman.
Battle app

Ever wonder if you were standing exactly where the 1st Texas Regiment fought? Or who commanded the brigade that occupied Devil's Den? Now there's an app for that.

The Civil War Trust created the Gettysburg: Devil's Den & Little Round Top Battle iPhone app to serve as users' lieutenant in battlefield tours. The app touts a GPS feature that leads users to the great historical sites in this most popular region of the Gettysburg battlefield. Virtual signs embedded in the app offer up historical information, expert videos and firsthand recordings from the participants who fought there in July 1863.

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