Apps aid Civil War battlefield visitors - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Apps aid Civil War battlefield visitors

MANASSAS, VA (WRC/NBC) - A new smart phone app helps visitors enjoy a richer, multi-media experience when touring some of America's Civil War battlefields.

A tour guide at the Manassas National Battlefield helps bring to life one of the bloodiest early battles of the Civil War - a 19th century conflict that's now also available on 21st century smart phones.

"They can download it for free. They can walk around the battlefield. It's like having your own guide, your own interpreter," said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton. "It will actually bring history alive."

The app was developed by the Civil War Trust using GPS technology and Apple's iPhone platform. Three battlefieds are available now, with five more coming online by the end of the year.

The Bull Run Battle App helps guide tourists through the Northern Virginia battleground using audio, video and animated content.

Missouri tourist Megan Kennedy already has installed the app on her phone.

"I think it's going to be really exciting because I can go and do all of the Civil War stuff," Kennedy said. "It will be on my phone, I do everything on my phone it will be really nice."

Civil War preservationists say that's exactly what they are hoping for.

There's a 13-stop tour of the entire battlefield and a topographical map all designed to be rolled out in time to engage a digital generation.

"This allows them to take that device, and instead of text messaging their pals about what color dress or pants they have on, they can actually drill down and learn something about American history," said James Lightizer with the Civil War Trust.

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