Year in Review: 160th Civil War Anniversary

2021 marked 160 years since the beginning year of the American Civil War. Throughout the anniversary year, Emerging Civil War writers worked to feature blog posts connected to the critical events and early battles.

A few of the editors had an early discussion about how to shape the content for the 1861 anniversary year. (One of the editors was actually sitting in the dark at the base of Lee’s Hill on Fredericksburg battlefield when the conversation occurred. Nothing like planning a strategy on a battlefield?) We wanted to make sure there was new and engaging content on the anniversary dates, and we wanted to create series that offered an “emerging” perspective on themes relating to the historic year. Thus, the ideas for the series This Location On The Eve Of War, Recruiting the Regiment, and First Experiences Under Fire were hatched.

It’s always a lingering question, how many times can we revisit a topic or a battle? That’s where the concept of EMERGING comes in. Tell the familiar with a lesser-known resource or from a different perspective or explain the historiography of the moment. It’s not always perfectly according to plan, but it’s always amazing to see the varying patchwork of ideas and posts that head into the blog schedule for anniversary days/years.

As the calendar turns to the new year, we’re entering the 160th Anniversary of 1862 — a much busier war year. We’re continuing to explore how to keep the content fresh for the old anniversaries and hope you’ll continue to read and learn with us as Grant takes Forts Henry and Donaldson, Lee turns back McClellan, Lincoln announces the Emancipation Proclamation, and more as the 160th continues.

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