Facebook

Thursday, 23 August 2018

They're Here! Two New Battlefield Apps

They're Here! Two New Battlefield Apps

Since I started at the Trust last year, I’ve had the privilege of visiting many of the battlefields we have worked to preserve. Doing so has reinforced something I learned years ago while living in Greece: History is about the present, not the past.

We can learn from the past and appreciate it on a visceral level - but only if it meets us in the present through knowledge and preservation. That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about two new ways you can bring history to your present: the Richmond Battle app and the Civil War Battle Maps app.

I don’t need to tell you about the awesome historic significance of Richmond. With its status as a major manufacturing center, a railroad hub and the capital of the Confederacy, it’s obvious that there’s much for a history lover to see there. The area saw its first true Civil War military campaign in 1862, when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee aggressively went after the Union army, in what became known as the Seven Days Battles, convincing Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan to withdraw to the safety of the James River, ending his offensive.

Then, in May of 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant led Union forces in the fast-moving Overland Campaign south from the Wilderness, in a massive assault at Cold Harbor, and on to besiege the railroad hub of Petersburg. In the first days of April 1865, Petersburg fell and Union soldiers took control of Richmond. On April 9, the war was effectively over when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Not surprisingly, the Trust has devoted much effort and resources to saving the many important battlefields in the Richmond area.

Like the place itself, our Richmond app seeks to faithfully represent the complex and multifaceted history of the city and region. We’ve included information about the contributions of African-Americans in the Richmond area to the Union effort and of women like Phoebe Yates Pember, a nurse and administrator at Chimborazo Hospital, and Elizabeth Van Lew, operator of a Unionist spy network in the city.

The Richmond Battle app will be your perfect guide, providing in-depth tours for both the 1862 and 1864 military campaigns, along with a tour of the city that includes historic sites and modern attractions. This GPS-enabled tool packs plenty of battle action into a convenient mobile format, providing images, videos, audio, maps, a chronology, a quiz, and visitor tips.

If you’re looking for a Civil War resource with a broader scope (that still fits in the palm of your hand), the Civil War Battle Maps app should do nicely. Its collection covers 83 battlefields in 142 maps, from Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to Glorieta Pass in New Mexico.

The Civil War Battle Maps app provides an overview of the 4-year-long war, timelines of each year of the fighting, and brief histories of 14 of the conflict’s major campaigns. It also links users to a ton of other online resources, including videos, tour itineraries, 360-degree Virtual Tours, photos, articles, preservation opportunities, and the Trust’s full suite of mobile Battle App guides.

Wondering if you happen to be near hallowed ground? The Battle Maps app uses GPS to help you see when you’re on or near a Civil War battlefield. You can also save maps to your phone for easy access even when you don’t have WiFi or good connectivity.

Few things are more present in our lives these days than smartphones. But your smartphone doesn’t have to be a distraction from the world around you - it can also enhance it.

Both of these apps are available for free in iOS and Android, from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. I recommend using them as an excuse to get out and visit some historic places - but they also work perfectly from the comfort of home if you need to keep your communing with history virtual for now. Wherever and whenever you use these apps, may they help you connect better to the past and the present.

Let us know what you think!

Reviews are a great way for more people to discover our battle apps. If you’ve had a good experience with one of our apps, please consider taking a moment to rate it in the App Store or Google Play. Thanks!

American Battlefield Trust