Civil War  |  News

Civil War Trust App, 'Real Time' Tweeting Mark 150th Anniversary of Momentous Summer of 1864

Civil War Trust’s latest edition to popular, educational app series focuses on Overland Campaign

(Washington, D.C.) - To mark the 150th anniversary of one of the bloodiest eras of the Civil War - the Overland Campaign - the Civil War Trust, the nation's largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, is pleased to announce its latest the release of its latest digital interpretation offerings. The Overland Campaign Battle App® guide, optimized for iOS and Android devices, focuses on the first clashes between legendary military commanders Ulysses Grant and Robert E. Lee. Meanwhile, a new Twitter feed, @Summerof1864, will allow followers to read about the events of that tumultuous summer as they unfold chronologically.

"Through the creative use of technology, we have the means to bring history alive for today's savvy, curious generation," said Trust president James Lighthizer. "These new tools will enhance the understanding of visitors to our nation's battlefields - and those taking a virtual trip from their living rooms."

Features in the free Overland Campaign Battle App® guide enhance users' experiences from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, placing history at their fingertips. The resources available through the guide allow users to move at their own leisure through four individual tours stopping at 45 Virtual Signs, which provide access to audio of first-hand accounts of the action and video of battlefield experts offering their interpretation of key events, and an additional 49 points of interest. The GPS-enabled map covers four major battlefields: the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and many lesser-known sites in between. A new, multi-layered map interface allows users to view the area of operations for the whole campaign or zoom in for more tactical detail. As with our other apps, time-phased troop movements help tie historical events to the modern landscape. Other features in the app consist of, orders of battle, chronologies and a facts page.

The Civil War Trust continues working to develop more Battle App® guide offerings thanks in part to the support of the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Trust's technology partner, NeoTreks, Inc. The Overland Campaign Battle App® guide was also made possible with the support of History Associates, Inc., of Rockville, Md., and historians Robert E.L. Krick, Mike Miller and Donald Pfanz. For more information about the content, use and availability of GPS-enable Civil War Trust Battle App® guides for Apple devices and Android phones, please visit To date, more than 200,000 people have downloaded the 11 titles in our growing series of Battle App® guides.

During the Summer of 1864, military actions in both the Eastern and Western Theaters took on a new sense of urgency, with major Federal offensives pushing toward Richmond and Atlanta. The interplay between these campaigns, plus other decisive actions in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, along Louisiana's Red River and elsewhere, make the understanding of this period key to a full knowledge of the Civil War. The new Trust-managed Twitter account @Summerof1864 will share information on these geographically disparate but interconnected events chronologically as they unfolded - exactly 150 years removed from "real time." Tweets will link to a variety of interpretive media, including video, photos and essays. 

Beginning with the Battle of the Wilderness, fought on May 5-7, 1864, the Overland Campaign marked a significant strategic shift in the Union War effort. The struggles marked the first clashes between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, recently transferred from the Western Theater and promoted to command of all Union armies. After days of costly and inconclusive fighting in the tangled underbrush of the Wilderness, Grant diverged from the patterns established by his predecessors following and continued to push his army south toward Richmond. As the campaign continued through a series of chess-like maneuvers, the casualty figures at Spotsylvania Court House, the North Anna River and Cold Harbor shocked the nation. By mid-June the two armies were closing in on Petersburg, Va., setting the stage for war's longest campaign. Begin your journey learning about the Overland Campaign at

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 38,500 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including 209 acres at the Wilderness, 4 acres at Spotsylvania Court House, 90 acres at North Anna, 165 acres at Totopotomoy Creek, 14 acres at Cold Harbor and 1,712 acres at Trevilian Station. Learn more at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.