Press/Journalists

Press Release
June 25, 2013

National Archives Marks 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg

Book talks and photography display commemorate historic battle

Washington, DC…In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the National Archives will feature two book talks and a display of rare vintage albumen Civil War photographs with a surprising past. The programs and display are free and open to the public. The display is in the East Rotunda Gallery, and the book signings will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Program attendees should use the Special Events Entrance, located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW.

Featured Display:  Picturing Gettysburg
Alexander Gardner's and Timothy O'Sullivan's Gettysburg sharpshooter photographs
East Rotunda Gallery through Monday, July 15, 2013
On July 5, 1863, photographer Alexander Gardner and his assistant, Timothy O'Sullivan, arrived at the Gettysburg battlefield. The battle had ended two days earlier and some bodies were still unburied. Gardner photographed the carnage, including the body of a Confederate soldier in an area called "Devil's Den." Sensing a more dramatic photo op, they moved the corpse more than 40 yards to what they believed to have been the sharpshooter's position, added a gun, and took another photo. For over 100 years historians did not question Gardner's captions describing a "sharpshooter" who died a slow death. In 1975, historian William A. Frassanito examined the photographs, and compared them to the modern Gettysburg battlefield terrain. Surprisingly, he found that the body in both photos was the same person, and that the gun was probably a prop.

BOOK TALKS
Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey
Thursday, July 11, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Journalist and author Peter Carlson recounts the story of New York Tribune correspondents Junius Browne and Albert Richardson, who were captured at the Battle of Vicksburg and spent 20 months in prisons before escaping. They traveled for 340 miles through snow and across mountains aided by pro-Union guerillas to make their way to Union territory regions of North Carolina. A book signing will follow the program. Watch this talk live or later via the National Archives Ustream channel.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic:  A Biography of the Song That Marches On
Tuesday, July 16, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Perhaps no other song has held such a profoundly significant place in America's history and cultural memory than the "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." In this illustrated program with musical examples, John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis show how this Civil War tune has become an anthem for subsequent causes. A book signing will follow the program. Watch this talk live or later via the National Archives Ustream channel.

Related 150th anniversaries: Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation

150th Anniversary of the Civil War [www.archives.gov/exhibits/civil-war/]
The National Archives marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a special exhibit, "Discovering the Civil War," that opened in Washington, DC, and then traveled nationwide. The exhibit takes a fresh look at the Civil War through little-known stories, seldom-seen documents, and unusual perspectives, and features letters, diaries, photos, maps, petitions, receipts, patents, amendments, and proclamations. Video overview [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUSpbAPJZoE]

150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
The original Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln is in the holdings of the National Archives. To protect the document from light damage, it is publicly displayed only a few days each year under extremely low light. In this video, senior archivist Reginald Washington and senior conservator Terry Boone discuss the document's significance, its history and measures taken to preserve it. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITJreHq76xM]

For additional history, images, and conservation treatment of this historic document, see the Emancipation Proclamation Brochure [www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2013/pdf/emancipation-proclamation-anniversary-brochure.pdf]

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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