Interest in the Civil War has never been greater
One hundred and fifty years ago, our nation was divided by a long and bloody conflict that pitted state against state, town against town, and even family members against one another. In every part of the south, the Civil War experience was different. Affluent agricultural areas had a large economic stake in the outcome, while economically depressed areas often had little interest at all. In the end, money, cannons, strategy and a near endless supply of conscripted immigrant soldiers made the difference for the North.
With the sesquicentennial, the excitement surrounding the Civil War has never been greater. Classroom learning is important, and the Civil War Trust provides some wonderful lesson plans (http://www.civilwar.org/education/teachers/). However, the best way for our students to learn about the Civil War is to visit our Civil War sites and to experience the drama of our nation’s greatest confl ict fi rst-hand.
When planning Civil War travel for your students, there are several locations that offer superior educational opportunities. Visit the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, which has been meticulously restored to its wartime appearance. Also in Virginia, Pamplin Historical Park features a combination of high tech displays and period-costumed interpreters for an amazing experience that has been described as one of the best examples of Civil War living history in the United States.
The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefi eld Park and the Chickamauga National Military Park in Georgia offer two of the finest national park experiences for historical learning. In Tennessee, the Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map and Museum and the Battles for Chattanooga Museum are two locations you won’t want to miss.
The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia features a substantial Civil War exhibit that includes naval warfare.
In Charleston, you’ll want to visit Fort Sumter as well as the Charleston Museum.
Before planning your Civil War learning experience, we recommend revisiting the website for the Civil War Trust (www.civilwar.org) for a great list of battlefields as well as downloadable mobile battle apps, which can be used either on the battlefi eld or in the classroom.
Arkansas State University
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