Civil War Sesquicentennial

Civil War Sesquicentennial

This year is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and although not much of the action took place in Western Massachusetts, there are plenty of online resources to help you learn about the war and commemorate its 150th anniversary.

The first of these is a Civil War EarthCam.  The Battle of Gettysburg took place from July 1-3, 1863, and EarthCam has a live webcam of a reenactment of Pickett’s Charge, Wednesday July 3 at 3pm.  The Gettysburg EarthCam transports you to the site of this historic battle, which was a turning point in the Civil War.

Another great online resource is the Civil War Trust.  They have interactive maps, photos, games, descriptions of battles, soldier biographies, and much more.  The maps on the site are useful for understanding specific battles and how they went.  Newer, animated maps show the course of battle and specific steps taken, complete with historical reenactment footage and narration.

In addition to these interesting online resources, there are a couple of events happening in the region that can help teach about and commemorate the Civil War:

Saturday, July 6 – 2pm – HISTORY: As part of their Civil War: 150 Years series, Western Gateway Heritage State Park is giving an illustrated lecture on Gettysburg – the site of the war’s pivotal battle and Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.  Confederate General Robert E. Lee will “come to life” and share his story of how and why the Confederacy lost this battle and subsequently the war itself.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street #4.  North Adams, MA.

Saturday, July 13 – 7pm – HISTORY/FILM: Ron Maxwell’s new Civil War era film Copperhead (PG-13) is screening at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.  The film follows an Upstate New York family during the Civil War.  Maxwell will be at the screening to answer questions and discuss the film.  He has directed two Civil War films before this – Gettysburg (PG) and Gods and Generals (PG-13).  Call ahead for tickets.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  $

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