By Lena Mitchell | NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – National parks with ties to the Civil War are using trading cards to generate interest and help people learn more about their significance.
Within a couple of months, the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center and Shiloh National Military Park will have their own cards for visitors to collect.
“In most instances people who want to collect the cards won’t be able to simply go to the visitor center and ask for one,” said Ranger Ashley Berry, manager of the Corinth facility. “Each park develops its own guidelines for what a person must do to receive one.”
For example, at the Appomattox (Va.) Court House, one of the six trading cards is a parole pass, which Confederate prisoners of war received as proof they had surrendered and allowed them to go home. One way to earn the card is by watching the parole printing demonstration in the Clover Hill Tavern.
One of the 10 cards for the Manassas Battlefield National Park is the Stone House, which served as a wagon stop along the Warrenton Turnpike, an early Virginia toll road. To receive the Stone House trading card, a visitor will need only to speak to a ranger on duty at the visitor center.
Corinth has submitted several cards related to the Contraband Camp, including one with the U.S. Colored Troops and one with Andrew Jackson Smith, a former slave who fought at the Battle of Shiloh.
“We also submitted five more battle-related cards,” Berry said.
The trading cards program has become an integral part of the National Park Service’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. So far, 189 cards are available at Civil War-related park sites, with others like Shiloh and Corinth being added as sesquicentennial dates near. The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh will be commemorated April 6-8, 2012.
“The cards not only include factual information but encourage people to think about their historic significance,” Berry said.