Civil War App

Monday, July 18, 2011 - 6:48am

New smart phone app help history buffs enjoy a better experience at Civil War battlefields.

A new smart phone app helps visitors enjoy a richer, multi-media experience when touring some of America's Civil War battlefields. A tour guide at the Manassas National Battlefield helps brings one of the bloodiest early battles of the Civil War alive. A 19th century conflict that's now also available on 21st century smart phones.

Sean Connaughton, VA Secretary of Transportation, says "almost half of americans now have this kind of smart phones. They can download it for free. They can walk around the battlefield. It's like having your own guide, your own interpreter. It will actually bring history alive."

The app was developed by the Civil War Trust using GPS technology and Apple's iPhone platform. The "Bull Run Battle App" will help guide tourists through the Northern Virginia battleground using audio, video, and animated content.

Missouri tourist Megan Kennedy already has already installed the app on her phone. Megan says "I think its going to be really exciting cause I can go and do all of the Civil War stuff. It will be on my phone, I do everything on my phone it will be really nice."

Civil War preservationists say that's exactly what they are hoping for. There's a 13-stop tour of the entire battlefield and a topographical map all designed to be rolled out in time to engage a digital generation.

James Lightizer of the Civil War Trust says "this allows them to take that device and instead of text messaging their pals about what color dress or pants they have on, they can actually drill down and learn something about American history."

So far, there are three battlefield apps available from the Civil War trust. By the end of the year there should be eight, all free.

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