The Link: The U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial

2011 marks the beginning of the U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial. Continuing until 2015, the 150th anniversary marks the end of the bloodiest conflict in American history, Americans are remembering and reflecting on the people, values and lessons learned from this war. This month, the ipl2 has selected sources that will let you travel back 150 years and relive, relearn and reenact this important event in U.S. history. And don’t forget to stop by our Civil Wars Around the World section and learn about other nations who are going through or have gone through their own civil wars.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

Background Information
Whether you want to learn more about the 150th Anniversary of the U.S. Civil War, plan a visit to a Civil War battlefield or view photographs from this turbulent period of U.S. history, these sites will help you begin to explore the wealth of information available.

NEW! The Civil War Discovery Trail
http://www.civilwardiscoverytrail.org/
Learn about over 600 Civil War sites in 31 states, the District of Columbia and even three international locations. Use this site to plan a visit to these historic sites as part of your next family vacation.

The American Civil War (find it on the ipl2)
http://jjanke.org/sections/civilwar/civilwar.htm
An extensive directory of links to information on the U.S. Civil War. Includes Civil War slang, recipes and other aspects of home life; data about African Americans who served in the war (in the “Colored Troops” section); details about prisons and prisoners; diaries, letters and memoirs; archives: and how women, Canadians, Native Americans and others served during the conflict. Created by a professor of finance with an interest in this historical period.

Civil War Photographs (find it on the ipl2)
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/cwphome.html
This collection of 1,118 Civil War photographs can be searched by keyword, browsed by subject, or viewed by year. There is a list of represented photographers (most of the photographs were made under the direction of Matthew Brady), a brief article on how photographs of the era were made, bibliographies, related links, and more. Administered by the Library of Congress.

Civil Wars Around the World
The United States is not the only country to have experienced the devastation of civil war. Sadly, it is all too common throughout history and today. This site provides information on recent civil conflicts around the world.

NEW! New and Recent Conflicts of the World 
http://www.historyguy.com/new_and_recent_conflicts.html
The History Guy’s chronicle of wars and conflicts around the world. This site contains sections devoted to major conflicts, minor conflicts, recently concluded or suspended conflicts and major acts of terrorism.

U.S. Civil War for Kids!
Just because school is out doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Whether you’re 8 or 80, kids of all ages can benefit from better understanding the Civil War and the ripple effect is is still having on the U.S. today. So kick off those flip flops and spend an afternoon with the men, women and even kids who put themselves on the line for what they believed.

NEW! American Civil War
http://www.americancivilwar.com/civil.html
This is a great site for youth interested in learning about the American Civil War. The site offers facts and pictures on subjects including The Battle of Bull run, the Underground Railroad, General Robert E. Lee, the causes of the Civil War and much more.

Kid Info – Your Guide to the Civil War (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.kidinfo.com/american_history/civil_war.html
Learn about U.S. Civil War history, trivia and battle facts as well as key people, places and documents important to the Civil War.

Civil War @ Smithsonian (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.civilwar.si.edu/home.html
This site is a directory that provides information about many aspect of the American Civil War based upon artifacts from the Smithsonian’s collections. The subject areas provide access to images of selected items along with insights into the featured documents, photos and artifacts of the era.

Something to Write Home About . . .
Thoughts of returning to loved ones are an important driving force for any soldier in any conflict. Kind words, sweet promises and hopeful thoughts of a joyful reunion can turn any lonely or bloody day around. Check out these sites and get a glimpse of the loves, friends and families of civil war soldiers on both sides of the war.

“My Precious Loulie. . .” Love Letters of the Civil War (find it on the ipl2)
http://spec.lib.vt.edu/cwlove/
These love letters from Civil War soldiers “show their sorrows of being apart, fears that the soldier would not return home, and hopes for the future after the war’s end.” In addition, “some of the letters are comical, as is the letter from an unknown soldier to a woman who evidently answered his ‘lonely-hearts’ advertisement.” Includes images and transcriptions of this small collection of letters. From the University Libraries of Virginia Tech.

The Civil War in Florida: Letters of a New Hampshire Soldier (The Calvin Shedd Letters) (find it on the ipl2)
http://scholar.library.miami.edu/shedd/letters.html
Transcriptions of letters from Calvin Shedd to his family during the Civil War. Includes a complete roster of the New Hampshire Seventh Regiment Volunteers (in which he served for the Union Army). This wonderful look at an everyday soldier’s experiences during the Civil War conveys the boredom as well as the fighting. Biographical and background information on the war is included. From the Archives and Special Collections Department of the University of Miami Library.

American Civil War Collections (find it on the ipl2)
http://etext.virginia.edu/civilwar/
Civil War letters and diary entries include transcriptions and digital images of the manuscripts. Each collection is annotated and tells whether the letters are from spouses, sweethearts, relatives or others. The site also includes speeches, fictional writings, spirituals and legal texts relating to the war. The newspaper collection is for students at the University of Virginia only. From the University of Virginia Library’s Electronic Text Center.

Civil War Commemorative Events & Reenactments
Tens of thousands of Americans across the country are passionately devoted to reenacting the battles and events of the U.S. Civil War each year. These events are often open to the public and offer a unique opportunity to experience American history as a living event.

NEW! Civil War 150th Anniversary
http://www.civilwar.org/150th-anniversary/
Join the Civil War Trust as they commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the U.S. Civil War with reenactments, exhibit, lectures, news information on historical events from 150 years ago and links to other 150th anniversary websites. The Civil War Trust is dedicated to the preservation of the nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and promotes educational programs and heritage tourism.

National Park Service’s 150th Anniversary Events (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.nps.gov/civilwar150/
The caregivers of America’s national parks have planned a full schedule of events to coincide with this year’s sesquicentennial. From photography exhibits to bicycle tours to a reenactment of a debate between Abraham Lincoln and his political rival Stephen Douglas, you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy.

Civil War Reenactors (find it on the ipl2)
http://jjanke.org/sections/civilwar/reenactors.htm
Are you interested in getting involved with a reenactment unit? There are dozens of groups across the country devoted to reenacting some of the fiercest battles of the U.S. Civil War. This site provides links to organizations that work to bring history to life.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

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