Exhibit Preview - Prologue

exhibit preview - prologue images

The current is a continuous "crawl" of records from the National Archives' holdings. Visitors can "touch" a record, allowing them virtually to hold the record in their hands as if they were a researcher in the stacks. Throughout the theme areas, visitors will use the current to launch interactive exhibits, which use familiar 21st-century technology - such as social media, tag clouds, and graphic novels - to dig deeper into the stories the records tell and discover what really happened in the Civil War.

It ended almost 150 years ago. But Americans still discuss, debate, and disagree about the Civil War. No one alive today lived during this momentous conflict. Time and myth have obscured our perspective on the war. So how do we know what happened?

Very often, we find answers and stories in records left by the participants themselves. Much of this evidence, including letters, orders, maps, telegrams, photographs, and broadsides, are preserved in the National Archives.

In this exhibit, we invite you to:

  • take a fresh look at the Civil War through little-known stories, seldom-seen documents, and unusual perspectives;

  • consider and ask questions about the evidence;

  • listen to a wide variety of voices; and

  • make up your own mind about the struggle that tore apart these United States.

Come discover the Civil War for yourself.