On April 12, 1861, exactly 151 years ago today, Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina officially igniting the American Civil War. What followed was four years of brutal fighting that would not only decide the fate of over 4 million slaves, but also the very future of the nation. That war left an indelible mark on American history and culture that is felt to this day and many of its battlefields and important landmarks are still visited a century and a half later.
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, the National Park Service has launched a new website dedicated to the Civil War and the various locations from that conflict that now fall under NPS supervision. Places like Gettysburg, Antietam and Appomattox Court House to name just a few. The website provides travelers with tools to discover these destinations for themselves while providing a historical context for their significance. It also lists upcoming events for those places and provides insights into what to expect while visiting these important national parks and monuments.
The new website also features an interactive timeline that describes the significant events before, during and after the war. A series of detailed stories provide more depth on the background of the conflict, while profiles of the most important political and military figures from that era help to put a human face on the struggle as well. There is even a “civil war reporter” that delivers daily news about the war via Twitter.
Whether you’re a history buff or just a simple traveler looking for information on Civil War related destinations, you’ll find this site to be a great resource. The Park Service has done an outstanding job in bringing all of this online.