RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — From New England to the South, state archivists are using the sesquicentennial of the Civil War to collect a trove of wartime letters, diaries and mementoes that have gathered dust in attics.
The effort will help states expand existing collections on the Civil War and provide new insights into a conflict that left 600,000 dead.
Much of the Civil War has been told primarily through the eyes of battlefield and political leaders. But these documents are offering insights from soldiers, their spouses and African-Americans.
In Virginia, archivists have borrowed from the popular PBS series "Antiques Roadshow," traveling weekends throughout the state and asking residents to share family collections, which are scanned and added to the already vast collection at the Library of Virginia.