Our Country's Fiery Ordeal

A blog about the American Civil War, written and maintained by historian Daniel J. Vermilya, author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (History Press, 2014) and James Garfield and the Civil War (History Press, 2015)

Dedicated to my great-great-great grandfather, Private Ellwood Rodebaugh, Company D, 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

"And may an Overuling Providence continue to cause good to come out of evil, justice to be done to all men where injustice has long prevailed, and finally, peace, quiet, and harmony to come out of this terrible confrontation and our country's fiery ordeal." -- Albert Champlin, 105th Ohio, Diary entry of June 19, 1864 (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Civil War 150: An Essential To-Do List, by the Civil War Trust

I just recently came across a copy of a new book for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It is titled, The Civil War 150: An Essential To-Do List for the 150th Anniversary, and was put together and published by the folks at the Civil War Trust.

The Civil War Trust is an outstanding organization that has done incredible work preserving battlefields and educating Americans about our nation's fratricidal conflict. With their new guide for the 150th, the Civil War Trust has an interesting, engaging, and worthwhile book for both the casual observer and the major Civil War buff.

The book contains 150 suggested things to do, books to read, movies to watch, and places to visit to properly commemorate the sesquicentennial of the war. For the list of things to do, watch, and read, items include reading a Bruce Catton book, watching the movie Glory, taking in a reenactment, and getting a kid interested in Civil War history. The list of sites to see is divided into several geographic categories, and includes famous sites such as Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, and Antietam. The list also includes off the beaten path places as well, such as the National Museum of Civil War medicine in Frederick, MD, the Shepherdstown ford where Lee's army recrossed the Potomac after Antietam, and the gaps of South Mountain. The list also pays equal attention to non battle sites, such as famous monuments, national historic sites and buildings, as well as places such as the National Portrait Gallery. To top it all off, each item has its own page, with details on the activity or place and why it is essential for properly commemorating the 150th anniversary of the war.

Now, I know that some folks might see this and think, "Oh, I don't need a silly book to tell me what Civil War sites I should see, I know them all!" Well, even if you are a reincarnated version of Robert E. Lee himself, I think you might still be able to find this little guide an interesting addition to your collection. It includes many diverse items and sights and touches on the many different ways in which the Civil War is a fascinating topic for Americans in the 21st century (one suggestion is to use your smartphone for a tour at a Civil War site, as the Civil War Trust is developing battlefield tour apps for many important battlefields). Even if you have already held a minnie ball in your hand, seen the movie Glory, and walked across the Burnside Bridge at Antietam, the book can still be a fun and interesting addition to your Civil War 150th commemorations. To top it all off, it is affordable and is produced by some great people at a great organization.

For the casual observer and major buff alike, the Civil War Trust's 150th "To-Do" List guide is a nice addtional to your plans for commemorating Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

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