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Passing in Review

Civil War In4 Engages Novices and Experts

Historian Garry Adelman brims with irrepressible enthusiasm as he talks about Civil War photography.

“You can blow up and see great details within photos. You can catch people smiling in Civil War photos. You can actually read names on gravestones,” he tells us in “Photography,” one of the segments of the video series Civil War In4.

Adelman, director of History and Education at the Civil War Trust and vice president of the Center for Civil War Photography, gives viewers a quick take on the early history of photography. He discusses the impact of battlefield photography on the American public and addresses a few of the many myths associated with photojournalism of the period—all in four minutes.

Garry Adelman. Civil War Trust.
Garry Adelman. Civil War Trust.

Energized by Adelman, I tuned into a number of the other included videos, and became similarly impressed by the topics and the caliber of the hosts.

•  Bestselling author Jeff Shaara on historical fiction: “It’s not just a history lesson. It’s the story of who these people were telling their story the way they would tell it.”

•  Historian, author, curator and military analyst Hari Jones on the Emancipation Proclamation: “That regional conflict became a war for emancipation, a war for a new birth of freedom.”

•  Historian Dave Richards on the Overland Campaign: It “was the price we paid for the American Civil War.”

•  Gary Gallagher on the Election of 1864: “It’s an election whose results were tied directly to what men in blue and gray uniforms were doing on battlefields, and it is one of the great dramatic and important moments of the Civil War.”

These segments are four minutes well spent. The ongoing series is a great place to begin your exploration of the Civil War, to brush up on various aspects of the period, or to learn something new.

Civil War In4: Short Videos on Basic Civil War TopicsHosted by Garry Adelman and special guestsVideo Series, Civil War Trustcivilwar.org/education/in4

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