Frequently Asked Questions



Purpose of Civil War Landscapes Association?
What makes the CWLA website different from other Civil War websites?
Why start with Shiloh?
What Civil War battlefields will be included?
What Civil War information will be available on the website?
How will the website be developed, and how long will it take?



Purpose of Civil War Landscapes Association?

To develop original photographic, cartographic, and textual information, as well as primary source materials in the public domain, concerning the American Civil War, its causes, events, and aftermath, and distribute these instructional resources to the public primarily through, but not limited to, the Internet, the World-Wide Web (WWW), CD-ROM, video, and other electronic publication formats.

Emphasis will be placed on the historical significance of the battlefields in our National Park System, aiming to bring these Civil War locales into homes, schools, and libraries to educate the public about these most important places and the events that took place there.


What makes the CWLA website different from other Civil War websites?

Although the overall intention of the Civil War Landscapes Association website is to inform and educate the public about the historical significance of the Civil War battlefields in our National Park system, the website will operate at different levels for different visitors:
1. As a Battlefield Tour Guide for individuals or families planning to visit one of the parks prior to their visit, or as a means of reminding them of their experience after their visit to one of the Park Service's Civil War battlefields, or as a means of seeing a Civil War battlefield "up close and personal" for those visitors unable to actually travel to one of the Park Service's battlefields.

2. As a resource for educational research, either under the direction of curriculum-based activities or by individual students or the public at large who access the website on their own initiative.

3. As a resource for individuals with family ties to soldiers or military units which took part in the battles we document, the website will be a means of tracing the locations, history, and events their ancestors participated in during the Civil War.


Why start with Shiloh?

From the standpoint of relevance during the Civil War, the battle of Shiloh was the first "major" conflict of the war; an important battle, perhaps of critical importance to the early power struggle in the Western theater; and the impact of the casualty figures from the battle shocked the nation into believing the war would not be easily won by either side, nor won quickly.

As a test case for various aspects of the Civil War that the Civil War Landscapes Association's website will highlight and discuss:

1. the preservation of the Shiloh battlefield, coupled with the Park Service's documentation on the battlefield, makes Shiloh a good "first test" for the long-range goals of Civil War Landscapes Association;

2. the complexity of the battle challenges our ability to fairly and accurately document the battlefield events, their timing, and meaning to the overall outcomes of the battle, again providing a good "first test" for the long-range goals of Civil War Landscapes Association.


What Civil War battlefields will be included?

Andersonville National Historic Site
Antietam National Battlefield
Appotamattox Court House National Historical Park
Brice's Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
Fort Pulaski National Monument
Fort Sumter National Monument
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park
Gettysburg National Military Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Monocacy National Battlefield
Pea Ridge National Military Park
Perryville State Battlefield
Petersburg National Battlefield
Richmond National Battlefield Park
Shiloh National Military Park
Stones River National Battlefield
Tupelo National Battlefield
Vicksburg National Military Park
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
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Belmont, Missouri / Columbus, Kentucky
Fort Henry, Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee
Jenkins' Ferry Arkansas State Park
Marks' Mills Arkansas State Park
Nashville, Tennessee
Poison Spring Arkansas State Park
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Todd's Tavern, Virginia


What Civil War information will be available on the website?

Detailed photographic and cartographic documentation of National Park Service, and several State, Civil War battlefields.

2-Dimensional maps reconstructing battlefield events by Time and by Units Involved, as well as 3-Dimensional surface models of the battlefield, both at the time of the battle and as preserved today.

A chronology of Civil War events, in the form of a Time Line and Daily Calendar.

Electronic distribution of Civil War documents, literature, and publications now in the public domain.

Searchable database of Civil War publication indexes, as a means of finding where topical information may be found in the published Civil War literature.

Searchable database of Civil War publication bibliographies, as a means of identifying published Civil War literature.

United States map linked to a Geograpghic Information System (GIS) database of 10,000+ Civil War engagements, searchable via geographic location, date, units involved, and present-day zip code and area code.

Regimental histories, searchable via geographic location, date, and unit names.


How will the website be developed, and how long will it take?

Several different production paths are required to generate the various products needed to compile the overall Civil War Landscapes Association website:

1. Some data, such as the public domain literature, published indexes, and bibliographies must be scanned by OCR from existing sources, checked for accuracy, and formatted via HTML for display.

2. Some sections, such as battlefield maps and animation sequences, must have the initial data collected and edited, processed into appropriate formats (perhaps assembled into a database or sequence of footage), and finally formatted for web display.

3. Some information, such as battlefield still and QTVR/movie photography, must be acquired by on-site photography/filming, processed and edited, and assembled for web display.

Some of these operations can operate simultaneously, others seasonally, making effective use of computer hardware requirements for data collection and processing.

Phase One (started in 1999; currently on going, with three battlefields remaining to be visited):

1. Visit all National Park Service battlefields for initial data collection purposes: gathering preliminary text and photographic images for developing the Battlefield Tour's "Quick Tour", as well as contour data to develop battlefield contour map. (Estimated stay at each battlefield: 3-5 days)

2. Collect data to flesh out the Time Line and Calendar parts of the Chronology section.

3. Start to scan Bibliography and Indexes of Civil War publications for immediate inclusion on the website as continually updated searchable databases.

4. Collect data to flesh out the Biography parts of the Personnel section.

5. Start to work on obtaining copyright permissions for those texts and/or images that will require such authority for inclusion on the website.

Phase Two (started in 1999; complete for Shiloh battlefield, currently on going for others):

1. Start to revisit each National Park Service battlefield, gathering more detailed battlefield photography and troop movement information at each. (Estimated stay at each battlefield: several days to 2 months)

2. Start to process detailed battlefield data as it is collected, producing the Battlefield Tour's "Full Tour" section, the Troop Movement's "Maps By Time" and "Maps By Units" maps, and the 3-Dimensional Gallery's "Surface Model" reconstructions of the Civil War battlefields for each Park.

Future planned efforts:
3. Scan Bibliography and Indexes of Civil War publications for immediate inclusion on the website as continually updated searchable databases.

4. Collection of data to flesh out the Biography parts of the Personnel section.

5. Obtain copyright permissions for those texts and/or images that will require such authority for inclusion on the website.

Phase Three:

Continue to work on:
1. Developing informational materials with the National Park Service, as well as curriculum materials with educational and library groups, and make such information available on the website.

2. Consider additional formats for distributing our Civil War information.

3. Consider ways to use our Civil War materials as a fundraising source for on-going financial support of the project.




http://www.civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/sys/faq.htm
revised: February 19, 2012
created: July 5, 2000
© 2000 Civil War Landscapes Association - All Rights Reserved.