Ending the Bloodshed: The Last Surrenders of the Civil War

This post was originally published as an article by Trevor Plante in the Spring 2015 issue of Prologue magazine. Trevor K. Plante is chief of the Reference Services Branch at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. He is a supervisory archivist who specializes in 19th- and early 20th-century military records and is an active lecturer and a frequent … Continue reading Ending the Bloodshed: The Last Surrenders of the Civil War

An airing of grievances: A pension clerk’s appeal

In honor of Festivus, this seems like the perfect document for the airing of grievances. This feature was originally published in Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives (Summer 2013). At the National Archives, and almost any other archival institution, one of the principal rules for using original records is to keep the records in the same order … Continue reading An airing of grievances: A pension clerk’s appeal

The Oath of Office: The First Act of the First Congress

Today's post comes from Christine Blackerby, Archives Specialist in the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The Center for Legislative Archives is marking the 225th anniversary of the First Congress by sharing documents on Tumblr and Twitter; use #Congress225 to see all the postings. When the First Congress met in … Continue reading The Oath of Office: The First Act of the First Congress

Now on display: Whitman’s Report on Cemeteries

In honor of Memorial Day, the 1869 Whitman Report on Cemeteries is on display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building from May 22 through June 5. Today's post comes from curator Alice Kamps. Memorial Day traditions began in the aftermath of the Civil War. The American people were just beginning what historian Drew Gilpin … Continue reading Now on display: Whitman’s Report on Cemeteries

Spielberg Film Festival: Lincoln

Steven Spielberg is being honored by the Foundation for the National Archives for his film legacy, which has brought history to life on the big screen. The National Archives is celebrating the award with a film festival. Lincoln is the last film to be screened. Join us tonight, November 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are … Continue reading Spielberg Film Festival: Lincoln

Records of Rights Vote: The 14th Amendment

Cast your vote now for the 14th Amendment to be displayed first in the new Rubenstein Gallery. Today’s post comes from Jessie Kratz, the Historian of the National Archives. Why should the 14th Amendment be ranked first on any list of most important documents? A constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship for all, Federal protection of … Continue reading Records of Rights Vote: The 14th Amendment

Enemy Aliens in Kansas City

Today's post comes from Kimberlee Ried, public programs specialist at the National Archives in Kansas City, MO. After war was declared by Congress in April 1917, non-naturalized "enemy aliens" were required to register with the Department of Justice as a national security measure. A Presidential Proclamation of November 16, 1917, meant that "all natives, citizens, … Continue reading Enemy Aliens in Kansas City

The true story behind the Gettysburg sharpshooter

Today's post comes from curator Bruce Bustard. These photographs and documents are on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC, until July 15 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 5, 1863, photographer Alexander Gardner and his assistant, Timothy O’Sullivan, arrived at the site of the Battle of … Continue reading The true story behind the Gettysburg sharpshooter

A glimpse into the Civil War experience of Company F

Today's blog post comes from Mary Burtzloff, archivist at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library. The black leather-bound journal had water stains and mold around the edges. It looked a bit icky, but the contents of the Civil War journal fascinated me. One hundred and fifty years after our nation’s bloodiest conflict, we are  reminded … Continue reading A glimpse into the Civil War experience of Company F

Emancipation Proclamation: A Letter Home

Today’s blog post comes from National Archives social media intern Anna Fitzpatrick. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation brought freedom to the slaves in the Confederacy. By the war's end, the U.S. Colored Troops Bureau had recruited hundreds of thousands of black soldiers, who fought for both their own and others' freedom. The Emancipation … Continue reading Emancipation Proclamation: A Letter Home