Two Gettysburg College professors are featured in a new National Park Service (NPS) handbook on the Civil War that was released in coordination with the 150th anniversary of that conflict.
"This handbook is accessible but also filled with complex stories and rich analysis," said Peter Carmichael, one of the two Gettysburg College historians with an article in the guide. "Though released in coordination with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, this guide will be the standard introduction for countless Americans for years to come."
The handbook, "The Civil War Remembered," features a timeline, period photos and artwork, and articles on topics ranging from the roles of race and gender in the conflict to the economy and Reconstruction.
An article by Carmichael, the director of Gettysburg College's Civil War Institute and professor of history, examines how the war evolved from a military effort with limited political objectives to a social, economic, and political revolution with unforeseen consequences.
Also highlighted is an article by Allen Guelzo, director of the College's Civil War Era Studies program and professor of history. Guelzo's article concentrates on the abolition of slavery as both a moral and legal issue.
Gettysburg College is the only institution with two scholars' articles featured in the handbook.
"Over the last several years Civil War battlefields across the country have revamped the ways in which they talk to the public about why soldiers fought and the consequence of organized, mass killing," said Carmichael. "This volume brilliantly reflects those interpretive changes by showing how the war was a revolutionary struggle that involved all Americans. No one could escape, and this new NPS handbook conveys how soldiers, civilians, and slaves tried to make meaning of a war that consumed 600,000 casualties while destroying slavery and reuniting the nation."
The NPS has a long tradition of having handbooks associated with individual parks. However, the monumental 150th anniversary of the Civil War coupled with an initiative to expand Americans' understanding of the conflict led to the creation of "The Civil War Remembered."
"The National Park Service aims to make the Civil War a topic that is relevant and accessible for Americans, moving beyond battles to a broader thematic focus," said Mike Litterst of the NPS' office on the Civil War 150th Anniversary. "This handbook is a tool that complements a thematic approach to teaching and learning about the Civil War."
The handbook is carried in 120 outlets nationwide, including NPS sites related to the Civil War and the Gettysburg College bookstore.
The National Park Service's 25,000 employees care for America's 394 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Nikki Rhoads, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803