• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

  • American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »

Civil War Connections

The Battle of Mobile Bay.
The U.S. Navy battle line endures a torrent of Confederate shot and shell from Fort Morgan as it steams into Mobile Bay on Aug 5, 1864. The San Juan Island connection? The captain of the lead ship, USS Brooklyn, was James Alden, who was in command of the Coast Survey Steamer Active during the Pig War crisis.
NPS Image
 
Many of the key American players in the Pig War incident, on and off island, went on to serve in the American Civil War in both Confederate and Union ranks. For some, the war brought fame, promotion and long careers. For others, it brought death, destruction, lasting heartache...and legend.

Throughout the war, American Camp remained an active U.S. Army installation, garrisoned entirely by regular Army soldiers who rotated between Northwest Washington and the battlefields of the East. The enlisted soldiers probably counted their blessings to be away from the fray, while the officers chafed for glory and the promotions that were certain to follow. Click on the links above for a few of the more prominent participants:
 

PARK AND PARTNERS ASSEMBLE CIVIL WAR PROGRAM SERIES

San Juan Island National Historical Park will explore the relationships between the American Civil War and the San Juan Islands and Pacific Northwest with Connections: The Far West and Civil War, a series of lectures and performances scheduled June through August at the San Juan Island Library.

The six library programs-scheduled at 7 p.m., June 28, July 20, and August 2, 3, 10 and 17 are free of charge, thanks to a $500 grant to the library from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The seventh program, The Life and Times of General George Pickett, now in its 17th year, will commemorate the sesquicentennial of Pickett's Charge with a special July 3 production at the San Juan Community Theatre, followed by a second show, August 7. Tickets are available at the theater.

Learn More

 
 

The National Park Service's The Civil War: 150 Years commemorative website provides an in-depth look at one of the defining events in our nation's history by presenting historical features and resources designed to illustrate the relevancy of events that occurred 150 years ago. Among the highlights:

A listing of more than 130 Civil War events taking place in 2011 at National Park sites around the country.

A Then & Now feature illustrating how events of 150 years ago continue to influence the America of the 21st century. Timelines and links to historic documents, photos, lesson plans and other resources illustrate the surprising parallels.

Civil War Reporter Beglan O’Brien, a fictional Civil War era correspondent, files reports on events from 150 years ago that are streamed to the website via Twitter. In addition to the Civil War Sesquicentennial website, he can also be followed directly on Twitter (CivilWarReportr) and Facebook (Civil War Reporter).

Links to other Civil War resources on nps.gov, including the Civil War Soldiers and System and the websites for the more than 70 National Park sites that tell the story of Civil War and its enduring legacies.

 
Pickett's Charge
Pickett's Division crashes into the Union line at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. In command of the Union cavalry that day was Pickett's friend, Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, who wrote most of Brig. Gen.William Selby Harney's orders during the Pig War crisis. Another old army acquaintance was Brig. Gen. Henry Hunt, brother of Capt. Lewis Cass Hunt, whom Pickett replaced, with some ill feeling, as commander of the San Juan garrison in April 1860.
Gettysburg NMP

Did You Know?

Bald eagle feeding young.

The San Juan Islands have the largest concentration of bald eagles in the continental United States. The once active nest in this photo is located at the American Camp visitor center. More...