HARRISBURG - No one can accuse Pennsylvania of not long remembering the Battle of Gettysburg, or any other Civil War-related event on its soil.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission yesterday rolled out plans for a $12 million, four-year-long commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, beginning in 2011.
Using traveling exhibits, special events, and an interactive Web site, "Pennsylvania Civil War 150" will chronicle the state's major role in the Civil War from the landmark Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, to the meeting of Union governors held in Altoona, and from the runaway slaves traveling on the underground railroad in places such as Pittsburgh to the graves of soldiers at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.
"The story of this war in Pennsylvania is much more than just tactics and strategy," said Barbara Franco, executive director of the PHMC, at a news conference in Harrisburg. "The Civil War also is the story of individual soldiers, and of woman and children struggling to survive in small towns and family farms all across the state, and of African Americans working to abolish slavery and join the United States Colored Troops."
The Web site - http://pacivilwar150.com/ - will present in detail the personal stories of Pennsylvanians on the battlefield and home front, while the Civil War Road Show, a 53-foot tractor-trailer, will bring interactive exhibits to all 67 counties. So far the PHMC has secured $2 million in funding and is seeking additional funding through federal grants and private foundations, according to spokesman Kirk Wilson.