Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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New Virginia ‘battle app’ for Android, iPhone

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

The Malvern Hill battle app includes onboard video by National Park Service historians on the battlefield.

Red alert for smartphone users!

Today’s there’s a brand-new, free app for history-lovers–an interactive, image-and-audio-rich tour guide to Virginia’s Malvern Hill battlefield, a gem of a place if there ever was one.

And it’s available for Android phones as well as Apple’s iPhone–a first for the series of “battle apps” produced by the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest battlefield-preservation nonprofit.

Malvern Hill was the last and decisive battle in the Seven Days’ campaign that kept the Union army from capturing Richmond, the Confederate capital. The campaign made a military rock star of Gen. Robert E. Lee, helped prolong the war by more than two years, and included what some have called the Kitty Hawk of aerial reconnaissance (think U-2 and spy satellites), and “Stonewall” Jackson’s worst day.

The battlefield is also a particularly unspoiled, quite and beautiful place with inspiring and heart-rending human stories–and an easy drive down I-95 and I-295 from Fredericksburg and Washington. If you haven’t visited it yet, put it on your must-do list this year.

The trust’s ongoing Battle App project is made possible by support from the Virginia Department of Transportation, which will underwrite nine more apps to encourage people to explore the commonwealth’s historic resources. Free apps are already available for Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.

Click here to read the Civil War Trust’s press release, issued a few minutes ago. It includes clickable links to Apple’s App Store, the Android Market, and the trust’s growing collection of battle apps.

The apps also work on the iPad, though they are not native versions.

More later.