Sunday, April 15, 2012

The First Year in Review

Civil War Navy and Marine Reenactors at Portsmouth Navy Birthday (October 2011)
 "Nor must Uncle Sam's web-feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been, and made their tracks." - Abraham Lincoln (1863)

This past Thursday (12 April) marked the end of the first year of the sesquicentennial commemoration.  What a wonderful year it has been for the Civil War Sesquicentennial and the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial!

It's been a busy year for the CWN 150 and the blog.  During the first year (12 April 2011-12 April 2012), CWN bloggers wrote 148 individual posts, reaching thousands of new and returning visitors.  The greatest benefit of doing the blog is getting the positive feedback from readers, especially those in those partnerships we have made in the past year like the National Park Service and the Civil War Monitor.
USS Cumberland Expedition (June 2011)
In between that time, the CWN 150 was involved in several events in and around the Hampton Roads area.  In October, the CWN 150 set up an informational table at the annual Navy Birthday celebration at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, VA.  Our first "series" of commemorative posts was conducted last year for the 150th anniversary of Port Royal.  Stay tuned for more special posts in the near future!

Several lectures and talks were given by CWN 150/HRNM staffers Matthew Eng and Gordon Calhoun, focusing on the role of the Civil War Navy in public memory and the vital role played by the USS Cumberland during the Battle of Hampton Roads.  The most important lecture series during 2011 was the Civil War at Sea Conference in Washington, D.C.  The CWN 150 was there to hand out hundreds of Civil War Special Edition Daybooks.  Be sure to download a free copy today!  We also were consultants for a 5 part series of videos created by Bob Rositzke about the Civil War navies titled the "Civil War Sea."  If you haven't already, take a half an hour to watch the entire thing on Youtube

HRNM/CWN 150 booth at BOHR Weekend at Mariners' Museum (March 2012)
By far the biggest event that occurred this past year was the Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend/Civil War Navy Conference in conjunction with the Mariners' Museum and the Museum of the Confederacy.  The My Hayley lecture at HRNM at the opening night of the commemoration was a huge success, much to the credit of Dr. Hayley and her wonderful book, The Treason of Mary Louvestre.  CWN 150 bloggers and Hampton Roads Naval Museum staff manned the CWN 150 table as well as spoke at several different panels.  Judging by the number of participants that were at the entire weekend of events, it will be hard to top.  Only time will tell!  The more you get the awareness out there, the better these events we have coming up (New Orleans, Hatteras, Drewry's Bluff) will be. 

Thank you especially to fellow CWN 150 bloggers (and ALL out-of-towners) Craig Swain, Seaman Rob, and Sarah Adler for making it to the anniversary.  I think we all had a fantastic time, learned a lot, and made some fantastic connections.  

On the horizon for the CWN 150:
  • Commemorative posts on New Orleans, Drewry's Bluff, and the river war in the West
  • More LEGO ship model designs courtesy of HRNM's "Brick by Brick: LEGO Shipbuilding" Program
  • More trivia contests and ways to get involved
  • Stay posted to the blog, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest updates!
As always, we are looking forward to the remaining sesquicentennial years.

Full Speed Ahead!

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