Last Chance to See Part I of Civil War Exhibit Before September 6
Press Release · Friday, August 6, 2010

Washington, DC

Don’t miss the final days of Part I of the National Archives exhibit “Discovering the Civil War,” which features the most extensive display ever assembled from the incomparable Civil War holdings of the National Archives. Part I: “Beginnings,” closes September 6, 2010. Coming November 10, 2010 is Part II: “Consequences,” to be displayed through April 17, 2011. The exhibition which is free and open to the public is presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and supported by the Foundation for the National Archives.

Marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War Discovering the Civil War offers visitors the chance to join researchers in unlocking secrets, solving mysteries, and uncovering unexpected events in Civil War records of the National Archives. The exhibition features letters, diaries, photos, maps, petitions, receipts, patents, amendments, and proclamations.

The original Emancipation Proclamation, which is rarely shown, will be showcased in a special three-day display during Part II of the exhibition, November 10-12, 2010.

In Part I “Beginnings,” visitors can discover:

  • The original Virginia ordinance of secession;

  • The “substitute book” listing names and information on men who were paid $300 to replace draftees;

  • Abraham Lincoln’s “substitute” in the Union Army;

  • How Lincoln stopped the execution of a Confederate major;

  • Messages from southern governors rejecting Lincoln’s call for troops;

  • The Chinese connection to the Civil War;

  • Similarities of the Constitution of the Confederacy and the U.S. Constitution;

  • Original pension records from a woman who served in the Union Army as Frank Thompson.

In Part II “Consequences,” beginning November 10, 2010, visitors will discover:

  • That two 13th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were proposed by Congress;

  • How a congressional investigation into war profiteering transformed the meaning of the word “shoddy;”

  • Firsthand accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg at the veteran’s 75th reunion filmed by the Army Signal Corps;

  • Original Freedmen’s Bureau records documenting murders and outrages committed against African Americans;

  • Innovative wartime patents including a multipurpose device that could serve as a tent, knapsack or blanket.

  • How social media networking will connect visitors with questions to “virtual docents”, or allow them to share information on the Civil War with friends;

The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Spring/Summer Exhibit Hall hours are 10 A.M. – 7 PM (through Labor Day), Fall and Winter hours (September 7 through March 14) are 10 A.M. – 5:30 PM.

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