Genealogists need to be historians. There is no way to understand a family history outside of the larger context of the history the family lived through. Genealogists have a rare opportunity over the next few years to witness the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Civil War. This will be commemorated with exhibits, books, websites, records releases, and re-enactments of battles.
In commemoration of an important and painful period in American history, several groups have set up blogs about the sesquicentennial of the Civil War:
- New York Times — Disunion. This well thought-out discussion covers the history of the United States as 150-year anniversaries pass. It has an excellent article up currently about South Carolina’s secession.
- National Park Service — The American Civil War … 150 Years Later
- Navy — Civil War Navy 150: The official blog dedicated to the dissemination of information on the history, events, and activities surrounding the Civil War Navy’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary.
- Appalachia — Share Your Story: About the Civil War in Appalachia (Appalachian Regional Commission)
- London, UK — American Civil War
Many states also have blogs or other websites commemorating the events and detailing museum exhibits or online collections. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. For example, I have not includes sites that seems to be mainly about a historical commission, but not about the Civil War history itself.
- Arkansas — Arkansas Civil War 150 (Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission)
- Connecticut — Connecticut & the Civil War (Central Connecticut State University)
- Illinois — Illinois Civil War 150th Anniversary. Being the state from which Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency, Illinois is bound to have an interesting site. As of today, the site is expected to launch … any moment: February 7, 2011.
- Maine — Civil War Sesquicentennial (Maine State Archives)
- Michigan — Exploring Michigan and the American Civil War (Michgan Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee)
- Missouri — The Civil War in Missouri (Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation)
- New Jersey — New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial (New Jersey Civil War 150th Anniversary Committee)
- North Carolina — Civil War 150 NC (The North Carolina State Archives)
- Ohio — Ohio Civil War 150 (Ohio Historical Society). The Civil War story in Ohio touches almost every community in the state, and this website is a place for those interested in its vast and fascinating history to come together around the anniversary of that time period. This site contains a great set of links, include many to commemorations in other states: http://www.ohiocivilwar150.org/links/
- Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania Civil War 150 (PA Civil War 150)
- Tennessee — Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial (Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission)
- Virginia — Virginia Civil War (Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Committee)
- West Virginia — Civil War 150 WV.gov (West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission)