Prologue Magazine Explores the Civil War As New Exhibit Opens
Press Release · Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Press Release
April 21, 2010

Prologue Magazine Explores the Civil War As New Exhibit Opens at National Archives

Washington, DC…Prologue, the National Archives’ quarterly magazine, has published a special issue with articles about the Civil War to supplement and call attention to the new “Discovering the Civil War” exhibit, which opens April 30, at the National Archives Building in downtown Washington and launches the sesquicentennial commemoration of the war’s beginning.

The Spring issue of Prologue provides both an overview of mid-19th-century America and looks at specific aspects of the war, the events leading up to it, and its aftermath that are seldom explored in history books and articles.

“The Civil War had a greater impact on American society and the polity than any other event in the country’s history,” writes Princeton University historian James McPherson in the opening article, “Out of War, a New Nation.” He adds: “It was also the most traumatic experience endured by any generation of Americans.”

McPherson, who won a Pulitzer Prize in history for his definitive history of the war, Battle Cry of Freedom, is one of several noted historians to contribute to the issue. In addition, Robert Remini, the historian of the U.S. House of Representatives, offers an excerpt from his new book, At the Edge of the Precipice:  Henry Clay and the Compromise of 1850. Remini will discuss his book at an April 30 noon lecture at the National Archives Building.

In addition, historian Daniel Sutherland of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville writes about guerrilla warfare between North and South. Historian Craig Symonds, professor emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy, discusses how Lincoln, famous for his relationships with his generals, dealt with his admirals. There are also articles about the growth of the military pension system during the war; the emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia; and the resignations of military officers who sympathized with the South.

NARA senior curator Bruce Bustard gives provides a preview of the exhibit itself. The exhibit will be shown in two parts in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The first part, “Beginnings,” opens on April 30, 2010, and closes on September 6, 2010. The second part, “Consequences,” opens on November 10, 2010, and closes on April 17, 2011. The two parts will be combined for a nationwide tour, whose scheduled is not yet complete.

Prologue is available at these Washington-area locations: The Archives Shop, National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW; and One Stop News, 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. It is also available at some Presidential libraries and in the publications office at the National Archives at College Park, MD.

On the Internet, Prologue is available for e-readers, iPhones, and the iPad through and Also, individual articles are available for purchase through

Learn more about Prologue, subscribe to the print edition, or purchase an issue.

# # #

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


This page was last reviewed on January 7, 2013.
Contact us with questions or comments.