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National Park Service website puts Civil War at your fingertips

April 05, 2012|By Catharine M. Hamm | Los Angeles Times Travel editor

If you’re a Civil War buff or you’re planning a trip to a Civil War site, a new  National Park Service website can help you.

Even if you’re not going anywhere, the website is fascinating to browse, from its lists of places to visit to its facts to the people who played major roles in the war.

I’m not sure it’s as popular as the recently released 1940 Census data that slowed traffic on that site to a crawl this week, but the Park Service's site experienced its own slowness on Wednesday because of what was identified as server trouble.

But hang in there to peruse such areas as the soldier and sailor database (where I think I found a relative who served in the 19th Regiment of the Kansas Cavalry),  prisoners, politicians and spies. You could get lost for hours (I did—sorry, boss) looking up all the cool information. Plus there’s a list of Civil War facts that puts it all in perspective.

There are national parks that are Civil War sites (Gettysburg, Pa., perhaps the most famous among them), but related sites are listed as well.

Certainly, California doesn’t have battle sites to visit, but it does have some sites (Drum Barracks Civil War Museum in Wilmington, for instance)  that played a role in the war to keep the Confederacy from seizing the Southwest and marching to the Pacific.

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