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Posted at 8:28 AM ET, 12/28/2010

Story pick: The Civil War goes social

By J. Freedom du Lac

Two things you wouldn't necessarily expect to intersect: The Civil War and Twitter.

And yet, right there in my timeline last week, I saw an endorsement for a 150th anniversary Civil War project in which some of my Washington Post colleagues are tweeting about South Carolina's secession, in the words of key figures, including the commanding officer at Fort Sumter, Robert Anderson; South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens; and President-elect Abraham Lincoln.

I began reading the curated list backwards (most recent Tweet first: @CivilWarwp: "SC troops take Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie and surround Charleston arsenal") -- and found myself scrolling (@AbeLincolnWP: "[Letter] U think slavery is right and ought to b extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to b restricted. That I suppose is the rub").

And scrolling (@CivilWarwp: "Convention pres Jamison: 'The Ordinance of Secession has been signed & ratified, and I proclaim the State of SC an Independent Commonwealth'").

And scrolling (@GovPickenswp: "Anything tending 2 change or weaken this govt & the subordination betw the races…endangers…the very existence of our society").

I'm no Civil War buff, but I found the historical Twitter project to be interesting reading and a fine storytelling gimmick experiment, even -- or, perhaps, especially -- in the medium's limited 140-character format.

By J. Freedom du Lac  | December 28, 2010; 8:28 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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