Some editors called it the “great obscuration,” but despite the lighthearted superstition, Americans were extremely well informed about the total eclipse of October 19, 1865.
Ancient and early modern astronomers had long ago developed the principles used to predict solar and lunar eclipses and by the 1800s, American scientists could describe in great detail the timing and path of “obscurations.”
When many people think of the American Civil War they picture battles and campaigns, soldiers and generals, but there’s more to the story. The war affected every American, Northern and Southern, soldier and civilian, free and enslaved. The Museum’s mission is to cover all of those perspectives in the stories we share, which often leads us off the beaten path.