April is the Cruellest Month: Ending the Civil War in 1865

I propose to create blog and podcast to commemorate the ostensible end of the American Civil War in the month of April, 1865. This site will provide text, photos, and audio (maybe video?) to succinctly tell the story of the end of the war. (Above is a working title, below is a photo from Richmond in April, 1865.)

ruinsofRichmond3

Major events to be covered will include:

  • April 2nd, The Fall of Richmond
  • April 9th, Appomattox Court House
  • April 14th, The Assassination of Lincoln
  • April 26th, The Death of Booth

In addition to that those featured dates, I will also create a page of “Annotated Enumerations” that will cite significant numbers associated with the war (e.g. numbers of dead, numbers of resulting Constitutional Amendments, number of total battles, numbers of people emancipated, numbers of books written about Lincoln and/or the Civil War, weather stats for DC, interesting parallels in dates/time, etc.) So, I’m looking at 5 to 6 blog entries over the course of the month, some of which will have a brief podcast associated with it–if not all, I am still assessing pricing and practicality.

The audience for Civil War history is ridiculously vast. How will my blog/podcast be different from what already exist? Mine will only focus on April 1865 and will be mainly overview punctuated with vivid descriptions and depictions of events and letters. My intended audience will be high school students as well as life-long learners. I will attempt to distill many facts and aspects into a punchy and pithy presentation that stays passionate and informative. (Definitely aspiring to Crash Course delivery and factual presentation.)

I will also attempt to plug my site into already existing sites that are public history related (or at least link to them and hit them up via social media) and I have a couple friends who could give me an assist on the web, and in particular social media. I will evaluate the site by keeping track of site visits and links, retweets, etc. via Google Analytics. Sites that are somewhat similar, or will be source material, include:

 

Digital Project Proposal: Building a Catalog with Omeka and The William O. Lee Jr. Collection

William O. Lee Jr. (1928-2004) was a prominent Frederick County citizen, active in local education, politics, civic associations and his church.  After his death in 2004, Lee’s papers were given to the Historical Society of Frederick County (HSFC).  The materials within the William O. Lee Jr. Collection are those gathered or created by Lee through […]

History Unmade: Physical Space Reimagined in Washington D.C.

Historians place emphasis on revealing a part of the past by showing not only what was, but also what could have been. In particular, many focus on how different groups had agency in their situations and the possibility to shape outcomes very different than what actually occurred. What if we bring this notion of agency […]

A Tale of Two Cities (Or Maybe Just One, and a Small Part of It At That), Or… PhilaPlace the Thames River

In the mid-17th century, English colonists began to settle the region around the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut, and the river has played an important role in the development and history of the area ever since. Beginning in the city of Norwich at the confluence of two other rivers, the Thames runs approximately 15 miles […]

Life on the Line: A Historypin Tour of Little Rock’s West Ninth Street

From Reconstruction until the mid-twentieth century, the West Ninth Street business district of Little Rock, Arkansas served the city’s black community as a center of African American urban life. Going back to its beginnings as a Union camp for freed slaves, “The Line” provided a center for black-owned businesses and commerce made necessary by the […]

The Archive of Immigrant Voices (Digital Project Proposal)

Founded in 2011, the Center for the History of the New America—through UMD’s history department—provides an institutional home for interdisciplinary research on the long history of the American immigrant experience. The Center contributes to and distributes information on immigration and migration scholarship to a broad public through academic publications, presentations, conferences, and mass media. A […]

Middlesex County Oral History Project (Digital Proposal)

As a part of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, Middlesex County is bordered to the north and south by the Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers, and to the east by the Chesapeake Bay. The earliest record of the County is from explorer John Smith’s journal in 1608, when he and his crew ran aground near the mouth of […]

Print Project: Text Analysis of Earl Shaffer’s Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Journals

Every spring between early March and mid-April, a couple thousand intrepid hikers laden with backpacking equipment venture to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia, varying in characteristics such as age, nationality, motivation, and physical ability, but all possessed with a common goal—to walk the entire distance of the 2000-plus mile Appalachian Trail. A “thru-hike” of the […]

Local History Education and Digital Media in Historical Societies (or I haven’t come up with a catchier title yet)

Cultural institutions, archives, and museums have often incorporated educational initiatives into their mission statements and organizational activities. The dissemination of these resources in the teaching of history, however, has changed with the proliferation of technology and digital media.[1] More and more, these organizations are offering educators online lesson plans, access to digitized collections, and interactive […]