Web page offers modern view of Civil War

March 11, 1997


Staff Writer

Nearly 135 years after the Battle of Antietam, a new front is being opened in the conflict between North and South - this time in cyberspace.

That's where a new local World Wide Web site dedicated to the Civil War is located at (

The site, which debuted last month, features Herald-Mail newspaper stories, historical accounts, photographs and other Civil War information, primarily about the Battle of Antietam.

"It is eventually going to be a very comprehensive site about the Civil War," said Herald-Mail Executive Editor Gloria George.

The idea for the Web site began two years ago, when the newspaper began discussions that led to the formation of its own Web page (


George said the idea was to design a Web page based on something significant about the Tri-State area. The Civil War was an obvious choice, she said.

The Herald-Mail is responsible for designing and hosting the site, with input from the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, a national organization based in Hagerstown. The newspaper will sell advertising on the site, George said.

The page's premiere is timed to coincide with two major Civil War-related events in the Hagerstown area - the 10th anniversary convention of the Civil War organization next month and the 135th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam in September. The site includes information about both events.

"We're hoping the national attention drawn to the site by the conference and the September (battle) re-enactment will continue as the site grows," George said.

The Web site includes stories about the Battle of Antietam from The Herald-Mail's archives. There also is a description of the battle from noted Civil War historian Edwin C. Bearss.

The site has links to other Civil War pages and there are message forums for people to discuss information.

"The design is outstanding," said Dennis Frye, president of the Civil War organization. "It's colorful, attractive and enticing."

He sees the Web site as a promotional tool for both his organization and the marketing of Hagerstown as a center for Civil War tourism.

"It provides access to potentially hundreds of thousands of people who would not know of us otherwise," Frye said.

George said the goal is to expand the site beyond Antietam to other area Civil War attractions. Other stories could be added from The Herald-Mail's files, such as information about Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and the burning of Chambersburg, Pa.

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