Next month will mark the 150th anniversary of the bombardment of Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor, the opening salvo of the Civil War (1861-1865). Commemorative efforts are underway in many parts of the country. States have formed sesquicentennial commissions charged with planning events. Historical groups are staging reenactments of famous battles.
The National Park Service is doubling down on lectures, walking tours, and other programs at battlefield sites. Last month, the theme for Black History Month was "African Americans and the Civil War." In April, the National Archives in Washington, D.C. will unveil an exhibition presenting "the most extensive display ever assembled" of their Civil War holdings.
Publishers have ramped up their efforts as well. An army of new books on every aspect of the war has invaded bookstores and libraries in recent months. Listed below are a few of the more noteworthy titles. Students of American history and other interested readers may find them available on the shelves of the Newport Beach Public Library.