During his National Park Service career, historian Richard West Sellars examined in-depth many facets of the National Park System and National Park Service. One of those projects focused on Civil War battlefields and how they've been preserved over the years. The Traveler presents this work, Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, in a seven-part series starting Saturday.
Pilgrim Places provides a history of the creation of Antietam National Battlefield, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Shiloh National Military Park, and Vicksburg National Military Park.
Featured topics include monuments and memorials; national cemeteries; veterans’ organizations and reunions; the African-American role; and Northern and Southern
Pilgrim Places has been praised by James M. McPherson, the Pulitzer-prize winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. Pilgrim Places, he said, "offers the most succinct and readable history of the creation of early Civil War battlefield parks and cemeteries. Our national memory and perceptions of that war have been shaped in part by these parks with their markings of battle lines and actions, monuments, and soldiers’ graves. By recounting how the parks were established and developed, Richard Sellars has deepened our understanding of the war and its legacy.”
The series debuts Saturday, August 2, and runs for seven consecutive weeks, with new chapters introduced each Saturday.