For many people, Massachusetts' role in the Civil War may be summed up by the impressive sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens that dominates one corner of the Boston Common. It depicts Colonel Robert Shaw leading the 54th Regiment (which was made up of African Americans) down Beacon Street in 1863 before they went off to battle in South Carolina. Those persons looking to learn more about the role that Massachusetts played in the Civil War will find this website from the Massachusetts Historical Society most edifying. On the site, visitors should start their journey via the monthly feature "Massachusetts Finds Her Voice." This rotating collection contains letters from the Society's archives, including a rather evocative letter from Captain Richard Cary of the Second Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment to his wife Helen. Each of these items can be viewed in its entirety, and many of them are complemented by links to additional online resources. The site also contains a timeline of Civil War events, complete with links to related web content. Finally, the site is rounded out by a selection of classroom tools and information about Society publications.


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  • Social Studies > State History
  • Social Studies > United States History

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