FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2012
Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
Explore N.H. and the Civil War during Preservation Month
New Hampshire’s ties to the Civil War go far beyond Walpole filmmaker Ken Burns’ groundbreaking documentary. One hundred and fifty years ago, New Hampshire’s men and women served their country both on the battlefield and here at home in ways that still affect us.
As part of the sesquicentennial observance of the Civil War, and in conjunction with national “May is Preservation Month” programming, the N.H. Department of Cultural Resources and the N.H. Division of Historical Resources have assembled information about the Granite State’s role in the conflict that shaped our nation and our state.
Eighteen New Hampshire infantry regiments, as well as cavalry, heavy artillery, light battery and sharpshooter units, served the Union between 1861 and 1865. To begin New Hampshire’s Preservation Month focus on the Civil War, the Department of Cultural Resources has posted online calendars and databases that cover key dates and locations of New Hampshire regiment service, including when they mustered in and out, and the places where they fought. The information can be viewed and downloaded at www.nh.gov/nhculture/nh_civilwar.htm.
“Few realize how heavily involved New Hampshire regiments were in the Civil War,” said Van McLeod, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Resources. “Our soldiers engaged in famous battles like Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Spotsylvania, and some served as far away as Mississippi and Louisiana.”
Throughout May, images and information about New Hampshire’s involvement in the Civil War will be highlighted on the Division of Historical Resources’ website, www.nh.gov/nhdhr. Themes will include New Hampshire’s mills before, during and after the War; Civil War-related monuments and highway markers; Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) buildings and the N.H. Veterans Association Cottages at the Weirs; and how the homefront had changed as soldiers returned home.
“New Hampshire’s Civil War story is multi-faceted and complex,” said Elizabeth Muzzey, director of the Division of Historical Resources. “Mills adapted to war-time production, populations shifted from farms to cities, and even how families approached mourning changed dramatically during the War and after.”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation organizes “May is National Preservation Month” as a nationwide event. Information about preservation month activities individuals and organizations can hold is available at http://www.preservationnation.org/take-action/preservation-month/.
New Hampshire's Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archeological, architectural, engineering and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among the most important environmental assets of the state. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit us online at www.nh.gov/nhdhr or by calling (603) 271-3483.
New Hampshire’s Department of Cultural Resources includes the State Council on the Arts, the Film and Television Office, the Division of Historical Resources, the State Library and the Commission on Native American Affairs. The Department strives to nurture the cultural well-being of our state. From the covered bridges and traditional music of our past to the avant-garde performances and technological resources of today and tomorrow, New Hampshire’s culture is as varied as its geography and its people. This strong cultural base—which truly has something for everyone—attracts businesses looking for engaged workforces, provides outstanding educational opportunities and creates communities worth living in. Learn more at www.nh.gov/nhculture.