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What Artifacts Best Represent the Civil War Experience?


The sesquicentennial of the Civil War continues this year – July will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Though the story of the civil war is often told from the perspective of battles, regiments, victories and losses, millions of artifacts bring the history of this crucial American moment alive today.

One of the most expansive collections of such civil war artifacts resides at the New York Historical Society, which recently challenged historian and author Harold Holzer to choose just a few dozen that would tell the story of the war between the states.

"It was really tough. It was like 'Sophie's Choice' times ten. Picking the objects to represent the whole march from slavery to freedom." - Harold Holzer

The result is his new book, The Civil War in 50 Objects. Holzer spoke with Stephanie Lecci.

If you vacation plans include New York City this summer, the 50 objects will be on display at the New York Historical Society museum.

This interview originally aired May 15, 2013.