The Civil War on Facebook and Twitter

One of the great things about working for a park in the National Capital Region is the number of park service sites in such close proximity to one another- 46 to be exact! Because this region creates a close-knit community of park rangers, you get the unique opportunity to often work in conjunction with the other sites and learn so much about the diverse resources and history that exists right next door.

Thanks to this network, I was selected to be a part of the region’s social media team for the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Battle of Manassas (Bull Run). Last weekend I joined the ranks of 5 rangers and the NCR Video Crew, all well-versed in social media and photography, to cover the event in a fashion no other National Park Service event has been covered before.

Over the course of four days, our team spread out across the famous Henry Hill taking photographs, live-tweeting, facebook-ing, and shooting video of everything from interviewing the NPS Director, watching artillery demonstrations, covering hiking tours- the whole experience!

One of the coolest things about the whole event was how much I LEARNED. From the people on my team about new media strategy, about the Civil War, my brain was just constantly absorbing information the whole time and I loved it! My main task was to run the twitter feed and take photographs, so I made it my goal to give our followers who couldn’t make it to the event as much of a full experience as possible- photos, quotes, facts, etc. I think it was quite a success!

Despite the record-breaking temperatures -heat index of 116!- we worked 12+ hour days, had a great system for dumping photographs and video footage - we managed to get everything posted within 12-24 hours of shooting,- and really enjoyed the whole thing. Our team was absolutely amazing and I feel privileged to have been part of it.


Musketry firing demonstration on Henry Hill.


Living history volunteer playing the harmonica on Henry Hill.