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Chancellorsville has app page 2
Fredericksburg historian is 'heart and soul' of brand-new iPhone/iPad app for Battle of Chancellorsville

 Civil War Trust web guru Rob Shenk (left) and historian Robert K. Krick try out the new Chancellorsville battle app outside Chancellorsville Visitor Center in Spotsylvania.
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Date published: 11/22/2011

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"The Chancellorsville battle app offers the freedom to customize your visit to your schedule and personal interests, while still benefiting from the expertise of knowledgeable historians," Smith said.

Krick, Lighthizer noted, is considered the leading authority on Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Krick and other historians say Chancellorsville was Lee's greatest victory--but one that cost the life of his most trusted commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

The Chancellorsville app features three GPS-guided tours, each covering different terrain and a separate segment of the three-day-long battle, one of the war's bloodiest.

Along the way, "virtual signs" describe each stop's historical significance, along with photos, video commentary by Krick and audio accounts from the soldiers and civilians who walked the same ground.

Soup to nuts, from strategic overview to quirky vignettes, there's something for everybody. A bevy of resource material answers many questions, with basic facts, a chronology of the battle, orders of battle for the two armies and an interactive quiz.

The app will also help people identify and find nearby historic sites and learn about visitor services.

It covers the entire battlefield, not just its most well-traveled paths. The app explores the national park in depth, but also covers property owned by private conservation groups, particularly the trust's First Day at Chancellorsville site along State Route 3 just to the west of Five-Mile Fork.

As speaker after speaker took to the podium yesterday, Krick sat quietly in the auditorium's back row.

But he donned a San Francisco Giants cap and tagged along when Rob Shenk, the Civil War Trust's Internet strategy director, and colleague David Duncan went outdoors to demonstrate the app, and--in front of news cameras--spoke enthusiastically about it.

Krick is the "heart and soul" of the app, said Shenk, who worked closely with the author, a former chief historian of the national military park, on the seven-month project.

Krick and Shenk, both California natives, said they hope such digital offerings will make history more enticing to young people.

When he was a boy, Shenk said, the closest parallel to a smartphone app was the American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War.


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