Endings and Beginnings - At the end of the Civil War, the South lay devastated. Many of its people were refugees. About 250,000 Confederate soldiers had died. And four million newly freed people were living alongside their former owners. While many Americans—North and South—desired reconciliation, there were no guidelines on how to create a new social, political, and economic order. How did the South begin to rebuild itself? How did former slaves begin to shape their lives as free people? And what role did the Federal Government play?
In Part Two - Consequences, visitors will discover:
• That two 13th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were proposed by Congress;
• How a congressional investigation into war profiteering transformed the meaning of the word "shoddy;"
• Firsthand accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg at the veteran's 75th reunion filmed by the Army Signal Corps;
• Original Freedmen's Bureau records documenting murders and outrages committed against African Americans;
• Innovative wartime patents including a multipurpose device that could serve as a tent, knapsack or blanket; and
• How to decode a secret message. In this part of the exhibit visitors will also be able to use social media to share their discoveries with others.
Discovering the Civil War marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will be shown in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Part Two: Consequences runs from November 10, 2010, through April 17, 2011. Part I: Beginnings ran April 30 - September 6, 2010. A special exhibition catalogue will be published in fall 2010.
The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall/winter Exhibit Hall hours are 10 A.M. – 5:30 PM daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25 (through March 14). Spring hours are 10 AM – 7 PM (March 15-Labor Day).
Discovering the Civil War will embark upon a major, multi-city national tour beginning in 2011.
About the Foundation for the National Archives
The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the National Archives' private-sector partner in the creation of and ongoing support for the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and film screenings, educational literature, and historical/records-related products and media. The Foundation helps the public understand the importance of the holdings of the National Archives by presenting the depth and diversity of the records through award-winning, interactive educational exhibits and programs. It generates financial and creative support for the National Archives Experience from individuals, foundations, and corporations who share a belief in the importance of innovative civics education.