In July 2011, the Virginia Historical Society hosted fifteen high school students from across the Commonwealth for the annual High School Historians Forum. In connection with the Society’s commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial, Forum participants found themselves immersed in the study of this epic conflict over the course of a four-day program in Richmond.
Guided by the VHS staff, these high school students interacted with living history interpreters, stepping back in time to experience the war through firsthand perspectives. Students also visited fifteen different locations within the city of Richmond and reported on each spot’s relevance to the Civil War, including Tredegar Iron Works, the State Capitol, and Chimborazo Medical Hospital.
On the final day of their program, Forum members helped create videos for the VHS that examine the connection between the Society’s collection (featured in the An American Turning Point:The Civil War in Virginia exhibition) and the profound impact the war had on Virginians. When the students returned home, they were asked to investigate their own home towns’ roles in the Civil War, and the ways in which their communities were shaped by the war.
2011 High School Historians follow a guided tour through the An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia exhibition.
Video of students talking about HSHF
After completing their three-day stay in Richmond, the High School Historians returned home charged with the task of investigating their region’s involvement in the Civil War. Students were asked to look at their communities’ local history and explore the ways in which personal stories and individual perspectives shaped that region’s take on this national conflict. Below are the accounts collected by the students, describing the how Civil War shaped their own back yards. Read More
Past Blanton Scholars Programs
The Virginia Historical Society High School Historians Forum (formerly the Wyndham B. Blanton Scholars Forum) is held every July. Read More