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Wander Minnesota: Minnesota And The Civil War

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Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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Though far from the famed battlegrounds of the American Civil War, and overlapping with the Dakota Conflict of 1862, the Civil War did have an impact on Minnesota, during and after. The Minnesota Historical Society is currently launching an in-depth look at how that devastating national event affected what was then a new state and its future growth.

The project, called Minnesota and the Civil War, will run into 2015 and include an exhibit that opens at the History Center in March, as well as a variety of live events, publications, and web content—including a very modern look at life during the Civil War, via Twitter.

(credit: MN Historical Society)

(credit: MN Historical Society)

The MNHS is using Twitter to send out quotes from actual letters and documents of Minnesotans who were involved in the Civil War. There’s a general Minnesota Civil War Twitter account, and there are also specific participant pages, including Will Christie and his brother Tom Christie; Matthew Marvin, a clerk from Winona; Edward Walker, a machinist from Clearwater; and Isaac and Henry Taylor, brothers from Morrison County.

(credit: MN Historical Society)

(credit: MN Historical Society)

But it’s not just the soldiers who will express their thoughts on Twitter. Jane Grey Swisshelm, editor of the St. Cloud Democrat, is on Twitter too. (As are many participants around the country—to get a full sense of the Civil War on a national stage, follow the primary Minnesota in the Civil War account, as it’s sharing tweets from other Civil War accounts around the U.S.)

(credit: MN Historical Society)

(credit: MN Historical Society)

Several events have already been announced, including a forum on the “War Within War” — the Dakota Conflict that took place during the Civil War; discussions of the roles of women and African-Americans in Minnesota during the war (a video covering the topic of women in the war can be found here); an evening with Abraham Lincoln; and a Civil War Family Day.

(credit: MN Historical Society)

(credit: MN Historical Society)

Be sure to keep an eye on the Minnesota in the Civil War events page for announcements of future programs.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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