PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Today marks the 150th anniversary of the first shots of the Civil War, the attack on Ft. Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.
The Historical Society began collecting Civil War memorabilia after the Gettysburg Address.
“We have thousands and thousands of diaries, photographs, manuscripts, prints, lithographs,” says Lauri Cielo, director of programs at the society.
Military historian Dan Rolph (second from left in top photo) strolled the display, engaging visitors in engaging tales — such as that Philadelphia, birthplace of the Union, was not entirely in its corner.
“Philadelphia was a hotbed of Copperheadism,” says Rolph. “Philly was split down the middle. It had economic ties to the South. It had familial ties to the South. You had a lot of men who were at, say, Jefferson College when the war broke out who went South when their state seceded.”
Dr. Rolph tells of a Gettysburg native who moved to Virginia, joined the Rebel army, and was killed invading his own family farm in 1863.
Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060