DEARBORN – The Henry Ford will present little-known stories, seldom-seen documents and unusual perspectives with Discovering the Civil War, May 21 to Sept. 5, to commemorate the war’s 150th anniversary.
The exhibit will feature the most extensive display of Civil War records ever assembled from the holdings of the National Archives.
Visitors will be able to consider and ask questions about the evidence, listen to a wide variety of voices and make up their own minds about the struggle that tore apart the United States.
Admission to the museum is free with membership or $15 adults, $14 senior (62 and up) and $11 youth (5-12). Children four and under are free. For more information, call (313) 982-6001 or go to www.thehenryford.org.
The exhibit offers visitors the chance to walk in the shoes of researchers in unlocking secrets, solving mysteries and uncovering unexpected events from one of the most pivotal points in U.S. history. Rather than trying to recreate 1860s, this exhibition creates an environment that allows visitors to see the war through the lens of today’s technology. Touch-screens, interactives and social media tools will reveal Civil War letters, diaries, photos, maps, petitions, receipts, patents, amendments and proclamations in a way never seen before.
Passing over the traditional chronological approach, both sections of the exhibit are arranged by themes. With in these themes, guests can discover:
• The original Louisiana ordinance of secession.
• A “substitute book” listing names of men who were paid $300 to replace draftees.
• How President Abraham Lincoln stopped the execution of a Confederate major.
• Original pension records Emma Seelye from Michigan, who served in the Union Army as Frank Thompson.
• A telegram from a Southern governor rejecting Lincoln’s call for troops.
• Film of the 75th reunion of Battle of Gettysburg veterans filmed by the Army Signal Corps.
• An original Freedmen’s Bureau record documenting thousands of murders and outrages committed against African Americans.
• Innovative wartime patents including a multipurpose device that could serve as a tent, knapsack or blanket.
• The similarities between the Constitution of the Confederacy and the U.S. Constitution.
• The Chinese connection to the Civil War.
The exhibition is presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and supported by the Foundation for the National Archives.