For Immediate Release: 09/13/12
Civil War Trust Unveils Suite of Multimedia Offerings for 150th Anniversary of Battle of Antietam
Battle App, Animated Map, 360 Presentation and online Emancipation Proclamation package debut
(Sharpsburg, Md.) – As commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history, are held across the country, the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, has launched a suite of exciting multimedia offerings designed to deepen public understanding of both the battle and its dramatic political and social consequences. All of these new digital offerings are available to the public at no cost.
“By marrying 19th century history with 21st century technology, we are able to bring the events of the past alive like never before,” said Trust president James Lighthizer. “Using video, audio and other media, these projects create an immersive and interactive experience that appeals to a whole new generation — and helps even veteran historians experience the Civil War in dynamic new ways.”
Leading the pack is the Trust’s Antietam Battle App — part of a growing series of popular GPS-enabled smartphone tours for significant Civil War battlefields. Like its predecessors, the Antietam Battle App features a detailed, GPS-enabled, battlefield map which includes a wealth of virtual signs and other points of interest. Within this extensive offering are videos from top historians, primary source audio recreations, detailed accounts of the battle, modern and historic photos, and a detailed set of reference materials. This new Antietam Battle App also includes our new “Field Glasses AR” viewer, which allows you to use augmented reality to locate key battlefield landmarks.
“This exciting new technology augments and enhances the traditional interpretation methods offered here at Antietam National Battlefield,” said superintendent Susan Trail. “Particularly as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the events that unfolded here, the park and its staff are thrilled to have been a part of this exciting project.”
The Antietam Battle App was undertaken with the support of Antietam National Battlefield staff and the assistance of History Associates, Inc., and developed in partnership with NeoTreks, Inc., an industry leader in mobile GPS-based touring apps. The project was made possible through a generous donation by Dr. Mary Abroe, a professor of American history at the College of Lake County in Illinois who serves on the boards of the Civil War Trust and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. Detailed information on the format and specific capabilities of the Antietam Battle App, and the other eight titles in the series, is available at www.civilwar.org/battleapps. The Antietam Battle App can also be downloaded directly from the Apple iTunes App Store or Google Play App Store.
The Trust is also excited to announce the release of its newest animated interpretive offering — the Antietam Animated Map. This new presentation provides the viewer with an exciting way to learn more about the context of the 1862 Maryland Campaign and the fighting that took place on the Antietam Battlefield. More than just a map that shows the movements of Union and Confederate troops, this multimedia show includes gripping battlefield imagery and detailed battlefield maps, showing the troop movements of the Union and Confederate forces. Once you are done watching all the action, you can engage the map’s “Explore” mode to learn more about key landmarks on the battlefield. This new Antietam Animated Map was produced in conjunction with Wide Awake Films, Inc., a leader in Civil War battlefield animation and video presentations. Watch the Antietam Animated Map at www.civilwar.org/antietamanimated.
For those who can’t make it to western Maryland in person for the anniversary, the Trust’s Antietam 360 offering — with stirring panoramic images to help viewers appreciate the beautiful and significant scenery of the battlefield — is the next best thing. A wealth of clickable points of interest on each panorama lead to historian videos and other resources that bring the historic landscape at Antietam to life. All of the detailed panoramic images are linked together, so it’s possible to travel, virtually, from the North Woods, through Miller’s Cornfield, on past the Dunker Church, into the Sunken Road and across Burnside’s Bridge. Never has it been easier to see and appreciate the true nature of the battlefield — except in person. Check out the Trust’s Antietam 360 at www.civilwar.org/antietam360.
Beyond the bloodshed on the battlefield, the fighting at Antietam is particularly notable because the President Abraham Lincoln seized upon the Union victory at Antietam as the opportunity to finally deliver his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This important document fundamentally changed the nature of the Civil War — making Union armies forces of liberation for enslaved Americans, and inaugurating the opportunity for African-American soldiers to enlist in the military. Learn more about the Emancipation Proclamation and its far-reaching impacts through videos, history articles, lesson plans, images, quizzes, recommended books and other primary source material on our new Emancipation Proclamation page at www.civilwar.org/emancipationproclamation
On September 17, 1862, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and his Union Army of the Potomac confronted Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Md., in what would become the single bloodiest day in American military history. Repeated Union attacks, and equally vicious Confederate counterattacks took place at now-iconic locations including the Dunker Church and the Sunken Road. Late in the day, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s corps pushed across a bullet-strewn stone bridge over Antietam Creek, imperiling the Confederate right, but the timely arrival of Southern reinforcements from Harpers Ferry drove them back. Despite being outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force at the Battle of Antietam, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his men, a piecemeal approach that failed to fully leverage his superior numbers. When Lee began to withdraw the next day, McClellan did not vigorously pursue the wounded Confederate army. Learn more about the Battle of Antietam, its personalities and its legacy at www.civilwar.org/antietam.
The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 32,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including 240 acres at Antietam. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.