The Smithsonian Associates is our nation's outstanding adult learning center for Civil War Studies with thought-provoking courses, seminars, lectures, and battlefield tours conducted by outstanding scholars and study tour leaders.
Current Civil War Studies Newsletter Article
Our founding fathers’ dream for a canal linking the Chesapeake Bay ports to the western territories of Ohio and beyond was the equivalent of our generation’s dream to land on the moon. Like the space program, the vision for the C&O Canal was to facilitate travel, communication, and commerce between people and places. But unlike the space program, it fell far short of those goals.
The first major battle of the Civil War took place on July 21, 1861, along the banks of Bull Run, some 25 miles from Washington. Congressmen and their families, not expecting a full-scale encounter, watched the battle as they picnicked on the slopes of the Virginia hills.