Unleash the Blogs of War!
For the past two years, we at the Virginia Historical Society have been up to the brims of our kepis working on the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission‘s exhibition—An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia.
As of April 4th, we’re only eight months away from opening the exhibition at the VHS on February 4, 2011. This blog serves as a way for you to follow our progress as we come down the home stretch.
One of our greatest challenges has been how to tell a story as big as the Civil War in a space half the size of a major league baseball infield. Let’s say you were to focus only on wartime Virginia. Your story would include:
- One million free white Virginians
- 491,000 enslaved African Americans
- 2,154 military engagements (more than any other state)
- 280,000 Virginians who fought for the Confederacy
- 50,000 Virginians who fought for the Union
- Hundreds of thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers from across the country who fought, suffered, and died in Virginia
You’d also have to give some meaning to the death, physical devastation, and suffering that the war brought to Virginia by understanding its causes and effects—both short and long term.
It’s a daunting task. . . . If you were in our shoes, which individuals, stories, experiences, and events would YOU think are essential to understanding the Civil War in Virginia?
Show us your list and we’ll show you ours.