Civil War Living History Day on Alcatraz Island
The National Park Service hosts Living History Day, depicting life on Alcatraz Island during the Civil War, when it was a military fort.
In 1853, construction began on Fortress Alcatraz, part of the Triangle of Defense designed by the US Army to protect the newest state and its resources from seizure by other countries. During the Civil War, Confederate sympathizers hoped to overtake the San Francisco Bay defenses and bring California into the Confederacy. Alcatraz Island became the primary Union defense post, with 111 canons, 10,000 muskets and 150,000 cartridges of ammunition. The rugged island fortress was never attacked during the Civil War, and eventually Alcatraz Island became a military prison to incarcerate the growing number of military prisoners.
The schedule of events for the day can be found on the Friends of Civil War Alcatraz website: www.friendsofcivilwaralcatraz.org
The story of the Post on Alcatraces Island, as it was officially known, is largely untold. During Living History Day, visitors will have opportunities to hear live Civil War era music, see period attire worn by expert interpreters and participate in being sworn in to the Union Army.
Living History Day on Alcatraz has been nationally recognized as one of the 10 best places to visit to learn about the American Civil War. For more information about the role of Alcatraz during the Civil War, please visit www.nps.gov/alca/historyculture/the-post-on-alcatraces.htm