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National Park Service Looking For Kids Interested in Becoming Junior Civil War Historians


A special patch has been created for Junior Rangers who learn something about the Civil War while visiting park units that preserve Civil War sites. NPS image.

Kids who visit a handful of Civil War-era units of the National Park System will be able to earn a special Junior Ranger patch, one that recognizes them as Junior Civil War Historians.

The patches are one way in which the National Park Service is marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Nine Southeast Region national parks have banded together to encourage young visitors and their families to visit the special places where the Civil War unfolded to reexamine what that terrible conflict means to us today. Children ages six and older can earn a special Junior Civil War Historian patch by completing the Junior Ranger programs at two or three of the participating parks and/or completing special online activities. During their visits, young visitors and their families will have the opportunity to explore how the Civil War impacted the lives of everyone American then and still affects us as a people today.

Why did they fight? What was it like to be in the middle of a Civil War battle? How did civilians cope with the destruction of war? How did enslaved people seize their opportunities to gain, and sometimes fight for, their freedom? These are just some the questions Junior Civil War Historians can answer for themselves while they earn their special patch.


There are two ways to become a Junior Civil War Historian:

Option 1

Become a Junior Ranger at three (3) participating parks. Make sure you get a ranger to initial and date your activity card (available at all participating parks) or your Junior Ranger program booklets.

Once you have become a Junior Ranger at three parks, turn in your activity card or Junior Ranger program booklets at a participating park to receive your patch.

Option 2

Become a Junior Ranger at two (2) participating parks and do one online activity. Online activities can be found at

Turn in your activity card or Junior Ranger program booklets along with a printout of your completed online activity at a participating park to receive your patch.

Participating Parks

Andersonville National Historic Site
Andersonville, GA – (229) 924-0343 – [email protected]

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
Fort Ogelthorpe, GA - (423) 752-5215 – [email protected] -

Fort Donelson National Battlefield
Dover, TN - (931) 232-5348 – e-mail us -

Fort Pulaski National Monument
Savannah, GA - (912) 786-5787 – [email protected] -

Fort Sumter National Monument
Charleston, SC – (843) 883-3123 – [email protected] -

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw, GA – (770) 427-4686 – [email protected]

Shiloh National Military Park
Shiloh, TN - (731) 689-5696 – [email protected]

Stones River National Battlefield
Murfreesboro, TN – (615) 893-9501 – [email protected]

Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg, MS – (601) 636-0583 – [email protected]


I think this is a great idea! Why isn't Gettysburg participating?

Not sure why Gettysburg is not participating. I will say that Gettysburg was not real accommodating to my kids when they wanted to do the Junior Ranger program. They would only give them one booklet and told them they had to share and wanted them to share the badge as well. (this was a couple years ago, hopefully they've changed a bit since then)

The main reason this program only has nine participating parks is that it is a pilot project funded by a small grant from the NPS Southeast Regional Office. I had originally proposed the idea as a national program, but that was not to be at this time.

We are hopeful additional parks will want to join the program, but they may have to come up with their own funding for the Junior Civil War Historian patches. Any national park with a Civil War theme, that is also covered in their Junior Ranger program, is welcome to contact me about joining up.

We live on the west coast and our daughter was able to visit Antietam and Gettysburg last year and is disappointed that she will not be able to participate in this program . Would the Regional Office consider adding a 3rd option for kids who can only participate on-line?

The Southeast Region is doing the Civil War Junior Historian patch program. The other 3 areas with Civil War sites (North Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, and National Capital) are issuing Civil War commemorative trading cards. There are 189 trading cards available from 23 National Parks 23 with Civil War connections. Gettysburg is doing the card series and that is why they are not participating in the Junior Historian program. The cards are free but you have to travel to the sites to collect them. Each of the 23 participating parks has different cards pertaining to their site.

The National Capital Region has come out with their own book of activities that says "Be a Civil War Junior Ranger!" that ties to their Civil War parks, but it is new and we can't find a park that actually awards the badge yet.

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