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Apps put Civil War historians on your iPhone

Sunday - 5/8/2011, 11:33am  ET

fredericksburg_battleapp.jpg
The first screen of the Fredericksburg Battle App. (Photo Courtesy of iTunes)

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Have you toured one of the many civil war battlefield's in the capitol region and wished that you had an historian at your side? There's now a 21st century way to do that.

If you tour the battlefield at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg or soon, Bull Run, you can download your own historian in the form of an "Battle App" for $1.99.

"It takes you to familiar sites, as well as obscure sites," says Jim Campi from the Civil War Preservation trust.

The app for Fredericksburg, where Union and Confederate troops fought a fierce battle in December of 1862, takes you through the downtown area where there was considerable fighting, but most people never check out when they view the current battlefield.

"What we are really trying to do is put an historian in your pocket, give you the flavor of going out there with a guided tour," says Campi.

The applications are all part of an effort to spark more interest in Civil War sites as the 150th anniversary of the conflict moves ahead.

Apps for Fredericksburg and Gettysburg are available now. One for Bull Run is coming in July, as the actual anniversary Battle of First Manassas arrives.

There are plans to add Chancellorsville, Ceder Creek, the Wilderness, Petersburg and Malvern Hill in Virginia and Antietam in Maryland.

The money collected from the apps will be used to create more apps and to upgrade them from time to time.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)