• Visitors tour Castle Williams.

    Governors Island

    National Monument New York

Civil War 150th Anniversary

Castle Williams Casemate in the Civil War

A rendering of a casemate in Castle Williams as it appeared in the early 19th century

The approaching 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War (2011-2015) offers the current generation of Americans a most important opportunity to know, discuss, and commemorate this country's greatest national crisis, while at the same time exploring its enduring relevance in the 21st century.

In preparation for the Sesquicentennial, the National Park Service-through the collective efforts of the superintendents at Civil War-related parks- has undertaken a multi-faceted, multi-year, integrated program that will simultaneously transform and improve interpretation of the Civil War. Please check out the links below to learn more about this crossroads of the American story and how our park will be offering programs to support it.

Causes

Castle Williams and the Civil War

Civil War Enlistment

Irish Soldiers in the Union Army

Did You Know?

German immigrant family

In 1860, nearly half of the enlisted men stationed on Governors Island had immigrated to New York from either Ireland or Germany. Women immigrants from these countries also took their first jobs "off the boat" as maids and servants in the officers' homes on the island.