History celebrates Civil War Week with news app from the past

It was 150 years ago Monday that the Battle of Gettysburg began and ended two days later on July 3 with Pickett's Charge. But anyone following History's Civil War Today app would know that already.

The channel's iPad app, being offered at a discounted price this week, has been reporting on the Civil War in real time since 2011 — the 150th anniversary of the first shots of the war fired at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861.

While there were many discussions and retrospectives of the Civil War on the anniversary of its beginning, the remembrances have died down somewhat. But History has continued to remember the war, and by many accounts, this week was considered the turning point.

Gettysburg was the single bloodiest battle of the entire conflict, and the channel is looking to commemorate it through the app and the "Civil War 150" interactive section of the History website. In addition to the major headlines, the app uses photos, diary entries, updated maps and other documents to illustrate the war's progress in real time.

History approach to the war allows anyone with even a passing interest in the events new insight or facts. Moving beyond the stories of Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant, readers learn about Mary Virginia "Jennie" Wade, who was the only civilian casualty of Gettysburg. The 20-year-old seamstress was kneading dough to make biscuits for Union soldiers when a stray bullet flew into her kitchen and killed her.

On July 3, the channel will also air "Gettysburg," the 2011 docudrama that followed the stories of eight men present at the battle.


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