This April marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, and events are taking place throughout the month to bear witness to this solemn but defining event in American history.
Lecturers discuss the resignation of Robert E. Lee from the Union Army at special evening programs at Arlington House in Arlington National Cemetery. Ford’s Theatre- the site of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln- has a series of performances and lectures. There is also a unique exhibit at the Museum of American History, featuring the firsthand experience of a Civil War nurse.
But you can always discover the Civil War no matter what day or year it is-did you know that Union troops were quartered on the National Mall for the duration of the War? The Rotunda of the Capitol doubled as a hospital for the wounded. From there you can visit the statue of General Ulysses S. Grant on the West side of the Capitol, or the statue of William “Tecumseh” Sherman near the White House. And of course, Arlington National Cemetery, founded in 1864.
They say the first shot at Fort Sumter was “heard around the world,” and in 2011 you can hear all about what historians have to say about it now.