Special contributions from Kevin M. Levin
Kevin is an educator and historian in Boston. Between 2000-11 he taught courses in American history at the St. Anne’s – Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia. You can find him online at Civil War Memory (http://cwmemory.com).
- Civil War in the News
- General Resources
- Abraham Lincoln & Emancipation
- Battles & Campaigns
- Homefront: North
- Homefront: South
- Key Figures of the Civil War
- Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides, Activities, and more
“New York, other states scrimp on Civil War anniversary” Associated Press, December 26, 2010 – New York state contributed 448,000 troops and $150 million to the Union cause during the Civil War, not to mention untold tons of supplies, food, guns and munitions. But with the 150th anniversary of the war’s start just months away, New York state government has so far failed to scrounge up a single Yankee dollar to commemorate a conflict it played such a major role in winning. . . Read more>>>
“City Steeped in Civil War History” Wheeling News Register, December 25, 2010 – The state of West Virginia and the City of Wheeling will celebrate 150 years of Civil War history in 2011 with a number of events beginning this spring. This is one of several articles written by local historian Margaret Brennan that will appear in the News-Register in the months leading up to the celebrations.. . . Read more >>>
The Valley of the Shadows
The Valley of the Shadow depicts two communities, one Northern and one Southern, through the experience of the American Civil War. The project focuses on Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and creates a social history of the coming, fighting, and aftermath of the Civil War. The project is a hypermedia archive of thousands of sources for the period before, during, and after the Civil War for Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Those sources include newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, maps, church records, population census, agricultural census, and military records. Students can explore the conflict and write their own histories, or reconstruct the life stories of women, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families. The project is intended for secondary schools, community colleges, libraries, and universities.
The American Civil War
This is one of the oldest and most impressive gateways to Civil War web sites. Categories are updated regularly and include Civil War Armies, Battles, Battlefields, and Historic Sites, Diaries, Letters, and Memoirs, Discussion Groups/Message Boards, Documents and Records, Generals, Movies and TV, Slavery and Emancipation, and much more! Recent spotlights include Union and Confederate Veterans in South Dakota and Animated Accounts of Civil War Battles.
The Civil War Homepage
The Civil War Home Page is a well organized gateway to thousands of pages of Civil War material including Photos, Images, Battles, Documents, Southern Historical Papers, Troops Furnished, Death Stats, Associations, Letters & Diaries, and more. The photo database has over 1,100 of Civil War related pictures and official reports include battle reports from the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies written by the commanding generals.
U.S. Civil War Center: Civil War Collections & the Civil War Book Review
Produced by Louisiana State University, the mission of the United States Civil War Center is to promote interdisciplinary study of the American Civil War. The site is not a museum or library but serves to locate, index, and make available Civil War data on the Internet. To find specific research materials search the LSU Libraries’ Online Public Access Catalog for books, journals, manuscripts, microfilm, maps, and other materials found in Special Collections. If you’re looking specifically for manuscripts and other unpublished materials, the LLMVC has more than 5,000 manuscript collections. A great place to begin web research.
The Museum of the Confederacy
The Museum of the Confederacy offers a wide variety of resources focused on both the military campaigns as well as the Confederate home front. Lesson plans that focus on the history of women and slavery are particularly strong. The lesson plans can be purchased at a reasonable cost and resource packets are available for rental at $5. The MOC also offers a selection of free lesson plans. The museum also maintains its own YouTube page [http://www.youtube.com/user/MoC1896], which offers a glimpse into their rich archival and artifact collection.
CivilWar.com is divided into 11 sections and the overview section offers causes of the war, a summary of the war, a look at the life of a soldier and the timeline of events. Other sections include Battles, Resources, Weapons, Travel, News, For Teachers, Forum, People, and Slavery. Content is as deep as some other sites, but Resources section is for more in-depth study provides access to books, recorded histories, the Official Record, photographs, letters, diaries, links, genealogical information, statistics and government records.
Selected Civil War Photographs
This Library of Congress collection includes over 1100 photographs of Civil War military personnel, battle sites and theaters, and more.The site has a brief overview of photography during the war and a timeline of the war with hyperlinks to corresponding images. A special section entitled “Does the Camera Ever Lie?” offers an interesting investigation into the way photographers communicate with the audience. While limited in content, the Library of Congress site contains the most visually stunning shots of the war.
Faces of the Civil War
The Library of Congress has acquired a rare collection of nearly 700 Civil War-era photographs. The collection includes photographs of Union and Confederate soldiers, as well as the women and children they left behind. The collection is available on Flickr, which facilitates the help of viewers in assisting in identifying individuals and objects.
Railroads and the Making of Modern America
Railroads and the Making of Modern America is at the cutting edge of digital history. This site spans the period between the 1850s and the end of the century. The website tracks the rise of the railroads in both the North and South as well as the key role it played in shaping military policy during the Civil War. Of particular interest is the role that slaves played in the building of southern lines as well as how the development of the railroad shaped a growing national belief in American Exceptionalism. Students have access to a large selection of primary sources, including maps, political cartoons, and speeches. The site includes ideas on how to use digital sources in the classroom.
Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877
This Library of Congress exhibition contains succinct overviews of several aspects of the Civil War and Reconstruction and features primary sources, maps, and image. Topics include The South During the Civil War * The North During the Civil War * African-American Soldiers During the Civil War * Civil War Soldiers’ Stories * The Freedmen * Reconstruction and Rights * The Travails of Reconstruction.
The Civil War from Harper’s Weekly
Want primary source news accounts of the war between the states? Look no further than this amazing digitized collection of Harper’s Weekly. The site has a hyperlinked overview of the Civil War, indexes of each year, major battles, and generals, and specific sections on slavery, the Lincoln assassination, medicine in the war, and Robert E. Lee. The true beauty of the site is the beautiful digital renditions of the periodical, including firsthand accounts and ink illustrations. The papers are searchable and hyperlinked, and students and teachers will find them to be informative and fascinating. You can lose track of time very easily as you browse the 7,000 pages of Civil War content!
Civil War Preservation Trust
The CWPT site is dedicated to the preservation of America’s hallowed grounds, and the most endangered sites are identified and described in great detail. The site is also a treasure trove for Civil War enthusiasts and teachers, as most of the battlefields are given specific sites with historical information, statistics, maps, images, and links. The History Center sections has articles on a variety of Civil War topics, including biographies, battles, warfare and logistics, and the homefront. Hallowed Ground, the organizations excellent periodical, is available in digital form as well.
The Civil War: 150 Years
The National Park Service offers this portal to their various Civil War sites on the Web. The site also includes an interactive timeline, a Twitter feed from a fictional Civil War reporter, as well as the ability to search for specific soldiers and sailors by name.
Civil War @ Smithsonian
If you are looking for online artifacts related to the Civil War, search no further than the Smithsonian’s Civil War site. The Institution provides a variety of annotated artifacts about the war, from clothing to uniforms and weapons to ephemera like almanacs, stamps, and patriotic covers. Images from the National Portrait Gallery are included as well, and the artifacts are grouped into categories for easy browsing.
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
This Smithsonian website skillfully integrates Flash video and text to examine armed conflicts involving the U.S. from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq. Each conflict contains a brief video clip, statistical information, and a set of artifacts. There is also a Civil War mystery, an exhibition self-guide, and a teacher’s guide. The Civil War section contains an introductory movie and short essay on the conflict as well as historic images and artifacts.
Civil War Resources from the VMI Archives
This site highlights collections of the Virginia Military Institute, including manuscripts and battle resource guides. Special topics include VMI’s Civil War generals, Stonewall Jackson’s resources, a war chronology, Robert E. Lee’s funeral, and more.
Great American History
This is a diverse site on the Civil War that provides educational materials and research services. Some of the unconventional topics covered are religious revivalism in the armies, unsung heroes, and Lincoln’s belief in God.
Digital Library of Georgia
This American Civil War offering by the Digital Library of Georgias collection includes variety of important documents and artifacts from the held by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Selections include: Confederate Constitution and transcription, Ordinance of Secession, an engraving of the last meeting of General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, images of Andersonville prison, and selections from diaries of Civil War soldiers.
Civil War Interactive
Civil War interactive is a daily news source for Civil War related news, events, reviews, etc. and is free. The News Archives can be browsed by date, by state, or by keyword. LinkCentral features websites rated as “5-Star” or “Editors Choice”. The new Book Nook focuses on books that are published within the last 6 months. An all-new section allows you to play Civil War related games and puzzles online and one of the most requested features is the Trivia Archives.
The History Place – U.S. Civil War 1861-1865
Here you’ll find a Lincoln timeline, biographies, resumes of famous battles and events, photos, and a chronology.
Index of Civil War Information Available on the Internet
The layout is simple and sparse, but if you’re studying the U.S. Civil War a fine way to begin is to explore the Index of Civil War Information available on the Internet by Dick Weeks. There are dozens of categories to choose from that will lead you to a bevy of web resources on Civil War topics.
Civil War Librarian
The Civil War Librarian blog helps Civil War enthusiasts and academics stay current on Civil War news. of Congress has acquired a rare collection of nearly 700 Civil War-era photographs. The author is a Professor at Waynesburg University, Director of Eberly Library, and an adjunct instructor in U.S. history.
Civil War Memory
This site, from page editor Kevin Levin, features a blog of Civil War news as well as a great list of Civil War links. The library page provides a reading list of books with links to Amazon to purchase them.
Civil War Search Directory
The Civil War Search Directory allows you to do in-depth search of around 1,500 sites on any Civil War related term using a program called Custom Search Engine (CSE).
Racial Satire and the Civil War
Presented by the University of Virginia, this site is a case study that explores racial caricature in editorial cartoons at the time of Lincoln.
Civil War Women
The Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University offers an impressive collection on women’s experiences in the Civil War. For instance, it uses diaries and papers to profile three Civil War era women: Rose O’Neal, Alice Williamson, and Sarah E. Thompson. Primary Sources on the Internet provides links to manuscript collections at Duke which have been scanned and transcribed as well as links to other Civil War women’s archival documents which are available in cyberspace. This web site was rated among the top humanities websites by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is featured on their EDSITEment web site. Diaries, Letters, and other Documents, and Photographs and Prints.
Civil War Tech
This 12-minute History Channel video outlines major technological innovations during the Civil War era.
American Civil War Magazine Articles
Part of OldMagazineArticles.com, these free articles cover a range of Civil War topics and are available in PDF format. There are also sub-sections of articles on Gettysburg and Lincoln.OldMagazineArticles.com is a growing archive of historic magazine articles that address a broad number of topics such as the American Civil War, art, Prohibition, WW I, WW II, immigration, literature, music and a good deal more.
Civil War Cartoons
Civil War Cartoons is a project of the American Studies Project at the University of Virginia, and serves as a history lesson underscoring how political cartoons contributed to the nation’s social and political climate. Features a series of essays and images.
The Iron Road (PBS)
Part of PBS’s American Experience series, this site is the story of the building of the first east-west railroad link. There is a teacher’s guide, a bibliography, photos, and recommended readings.
Freedmen and Southern Society Project
The Freedmen and Southern Society Project offers an exhaustive collection of primary sources that tell the story of emancipation. The project is noteworthy for its emphasis on the role that the slaves themselves played in the emancipation story as opposed to the top-down story that is often assumed in textbooks that places Abraham Lincoln at the center of the narrative.
Abraham Lincoln Papers
The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents. The collection is organized into three “General Correspondence” series which include incoming and outgoing correspondence and enclosures, drafts of speeches, and notes and printed material. Most of the 20,000 items are from the 1850s through Lincoln’s presidential years. Excellent site for a research projectT There are two special presentations
- Emancipation Proclamation
Provides a brief introduction to the Emancipation Proclamation as well as a timeline and four related primary sources.
- Assassination of President Lincoln
Provides an introduction, timeline, and photo gallery that documents the assassination of the nation’s 16th President 1860-65.
The Time of the Lincolns
This is a companion site to the PBS video Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided that weaves together the lives of Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Major sections include Partisan Politics, Slavery and Freedom, A Rising Nation, Americans at War, and A Woman’s World. Special features include a Flash-generated map of America on the eve of war, a Technology Gallery, and virtual tour of a slave cabin. The web site also includes a six-hour program transcript, letters and first-hand accounts from soldiers, nurses, abolitionists, and others, a list of related books, articles, and Web sites.
Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads
The National Constitution Center developed this interactive game in conjunction with their travelling exhibition highlighting major “crossroads” that Lincoln faced during the Civil War era. Beginning and extending to peace meetings near the end of the war, the simulation covers thirteen major decisions of Honest Abe. At each crossroad, Lincoln himself introduces the historical content, presents two possible solutions, and asks the user for help in making a decision. The site includes a transcript of the dialogue and pertinent links for each decision. Middle school and high school students will enjoy comparing their decisions to those of Lincoln and be exposed to excellent historical content in the process.
Abraham Lincoln Online
Abraham Lincoln Online brings you news about Lincoln books, speeches and writings, historic places, and events. Sections include This Week in History, Today in Lincoln’s Life, Lincoln News Highlights, and Photo Tours of Lincoln Places. Find out about Lincoln events, new books about Lincoln, and more.
Lincoln/Net provides historical materials from Abraham Lincoln’s Illinois years, including Lincoln’s writings and speeches, as well as other materials illuminating antebellum Illinois. This site includes interpretive materials, featuring a brief Lincoln biography and discussions of eight major historical themes. Lincoln/Net provides over fifteen million words of primary source materials, over 1500 images, video commentary on various aspects of Lincoln’s life by historians and, and even a sound archive. Lincoln/Net also offers lesson plans that utilize the primary source documents found in the Lincoln/Net database.
The Lincoln Assassination
This 45-minute online video from the History Channel attempts to “to untangle the myths and misconceptions” surrounding the Lincoln assassination.
Mr. Lincoln’s White House (and affiliated sites)
This Lincoln Institute site describes the White House and nearby Washington, and profiles Lincoln family members, Cabinet officers and Vice Presidents, members of Congress, generals, and others. Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, a related site, details the progress of Mr. Lincoln’s opposition to slavery from his years in the Illinois State Legislature to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery. Other related sites include: Mr. Lincoln and Friends, which reviews the many men and a few women whose friendships helped determine Mr. Lincoln’s political progress and success in the state capital in Springfield, Illinois and the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C.; Mr. Lincoln and the Founders, which examines the impact of the Founders, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution on Mr. Lincoln’s life, political thinking and political actions in the 1850s and 1860s; and Mr. Lincoln and New York, which appraises how the center of political, media, and economic power in 19th century America interacted with, supported, and tormented Mr. Lincoln both before and during his Presidency.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
The official Web site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
James McPherson on Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief (YouTube)
Harper’s Weekly Reports, 1857-1874
For over a quarter of a century, Harper’s Weekly captured the lion’s share of the national newspaper audience. Materials from the magazine are presented in order to give a true historical picture of the leading 19th-century newspaper’s view of black Americans.
Hidden Treasures: Abraham Lincoln
History.com presents a series of interesting two-minute videos on various aspects of Abraham Lincoln. Visitors virtually examine some of the Library of Congress’ most historically meaningful and culturally relevant artifacts.
- Lincoln’s Life Masks
Presents historic bronze masks of Lincoln’s likeness.
The Battle of Antietam on the Web
Antietam on the Web offers a wide selection of primary sources related to this crucial 1862 battle that led Lincoln to issue his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The battle maps are especially helpful as they break down the battle into manageable sections that allow students to more easily piece together the ebb and flow of the battle during its three phases. The After-Action Reports are particularly helpful in providing the perspective of the commanders on the ground. Students can also search for individual regiments as well as participants.
The Battle of Antietam
This NPR audio clip features the views of renowned historian James McPherson who argues that Antietam was a turning point in the war.
Civil War Photographs: Gettysburg
This History Channel slideshow presents 12 photographs from the Library of Congress related to the Battle of Gettysburg.
Sherman’s March – Interactive Map
Although Sherman’s March and America is still under construction it is still useful. The interactive maps allow students to track the progress of Sherman’s march on a day-to-day basis. The maps themselves track the experiences of soldiers, civilians, slaves, and even fictional characters such as those from the movie, Gone With the Wind.
Animated Map: Gettysburg This is an animated map from Civil War Animated showing the Battle of Gettysburg.
Animated Map: Chancellorsville This is an animated map from Civil War Trust showing the Battle of Chancellorsville.
The Confederacy’s Last Stand
This 4-minute video clip from “Sherman’s March: The Last Stand” explains why Confederate hope for victory in 1865 was snuffed out.
The Civil War in New York City Archive
The Civil War in New York City can be used to explore one of the most dynamic and violent cities during the war. The site includes a rich collection of primary sources, including newspaper articles and photographs. Students can explore the famous New York City Draft Riot of 1863 as well as the strong “copperhead” presence that led the opposition movement against the Lincoln administration. Lesson plans can be utilized to help steer discussion and research.
Brooklyn in the Civil War
This interactive, educational website from Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection presents primary source documents — photographs, letters, newspaper articles, illustrations, and more — to help visitors understand what life was like in Brooklyn during the Civil War. The site is divided into four primary themes — soldiers, women, slavery, and daily life — an includes interactive maps, a glossary, and timeline. An interesting feature is an interactive map which details the experiences of James W. Vanderhoef, a Union soldier who wrote letters to his sister in Brooklyn during the war.
New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War Online Exhibit
New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War explores the city’s complex economic ties to slavery as well as the rise of a vibrant abolitionist movement. The content of the site is based on a recent exhibit sponsored by the New York Historical Society so students have access to a wonderful collection of artifacts and documents that can be explored in class. Website developers offer a number of interactive opportunities for students as they navigate through the years leading up to the war. Lesson plans focus on racial attitudes during the war, legal struggles over runaway slaves, and the writings of black physician and abolitionist James McCune Smith.
Hidden Patterns of the Civil War: Richmond’s Slave Market
Mapping Richmond’s Slave Market is a 3D model of a portion of the city’s commercial district as it stood in 1853. It particularly focuses upon what was the most economically significant—and to many, even slavery’s apologists, morally unsavory—sector of the local economy: the slave trade where men, women, and children were auctioned as pieces of property. Richmond’s slave trading market was among the largest in the United States between the 1830s and 1860s. Students can explore individual buildings as well as the stories contained therein. The visual map gives students a way to explore just how central the slave trade was to the city as well as a sense of how it affected the lives of thousands of bondsmen.
Civil War Richmond
Civil War Richmond is an online research project designed to collect documents, photographs, and maps pertaining to Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War. The “other sites” section deals with other important topics, including: battery defenses, cemeteries, industry, and civilian activity. There is much information regarding the hospitals and prisons in Richmond, so these have been given their own sections.
The Southern Homefront 1861-1865
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Documenting the American South includes a rich collection of diaries, letters, and photographs that depict life on the home front during the war. Topics include religion, business and industry, slavery as well as the state’s connection to the Confederacy. Given its roots in North Carolina it should come as no surprise that the collection reflects a wide cross section of life in the Tar Heel State. Lesson Plans are broken down between, NC history, US history, and African American.
Grant and Sherman: Unlikely Leaders
This 4-minute video clip from “Sherman’s March: The Last Stand” explains why Grant and Sherman were considered an unlikely team.
Robert E. Lee
This 2-minute History Channel video clip explores the Confederate general who gained mythic status.
Massachusetts 54th Regiment
This 2-minute History Channel video portrays one of the first official black units in the United States armed forces during the American Civil War.
Civil War Union Military Leaders
This History Channel slideshow presents 13 images of Union military leaders.
The Civil War
PBS developed this comprehensive site in conjunction with the DVD release of the highly acclaimed documentary by Ken Burns. The site serves partially as a companion to the documentary and proves quite helpful for teachers that incorporate the film (or clips of the film) in class. The “In the Classroom” sections includes detailed episode descriptions, lesson ideas and plans, hints for researching local Civil War history, and annotated links. Students can use the site as a source of maps, biographies, and images. One of the highlights is an interactive section in which users can “tell a story” by creating their own mini-documentary with images, transitions, and audio. Students can become an amateur Ken Burns!
- Lesson Plan: Lee and Grant at Appomattox Court House
In this PBS lesson plan, students are asked to examine the terms and conditions of Lee’s surrender. The lesson plan provides ample material for research and discussion regarding the end of the Civil War. PBS recommends that this lesson plan be used in conjunction with the film The Civil War, directed by Ken Burns.
Civil War Preservation Trust
The CWPT site is a treasure trove for Civil War enthusiasts and teachers, as most of the battlefields are given specific sites with historical information, statistics, maps, images, and links. Teachers must visit the site to download the lesson plans, including an excellent two-week Civil War curriculum full of activities based on primary resources. A special section is added for students and the CWPT always sponsors a “Save Our Battlefields” essay and poster contest.
Teaching with Documents (Lesson Plan)
The NARA has compiled many Civil War primary sources, including several sound files of interviews with the last surviving confederate veteran. Lesson plans and activity worksheets are at the bottom of the page and can be applied to any visual document.
The Matthew Brady Bunch – Lesson Plan
Designed for use toward the end of a unit on the Civil War, this lesson allows students to analyze photographs and evaluate how they can influence understanding of and attitudes about the war. Much of the lesson is spent discussing how to use photographic primary sources; students learn that photographers often manipulated the scenes they were capturing and discuss how these sources should therefore be utilized. Materials are from the Library of Congress’ American Memory collections. Designed for grade 7, but adaptable to high school.
Photojournalism – Lesson Plan
By close analysis of photographs from several wars, including the Civil War, students consider how and why photographers covered war and how pictures can reflect their biases. Students also learn to differentiate between observations and conclusions. The lesson includes a thorough procedure with instructional tips for teachers to follow, pre-selected photographs from the Library of Congress’ American Memory collections and worksheets for students. Designed for grades 5 to 8.
The Crisis at Fort Sumter
Crisis at Fort Sumter is an interactive historical simulation and decision making program. Using text, images, and sound, it reconstructs the dilemmas of policy formation and decision making in the period between Abraham Lincoln’s election in in November 1860 and the battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861.
Civil War Battle Fields – Virtual Field Trip
Using the provided web sites, students will follow Kelly Fortner’s lesson plan to understand the significance of each Civil War battle. Activities include writing battle outlines and reading eyewitness accounts of the fighting.
Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address
This Civil War.com lesson plan helps students understand the historical context and significance of Lincoln’s inaugural address through archival documents such as campaign posters, sheet music, vintage photographs and documents. Features EDSITEment-reviewed sites and six suggested activities.
Lesson Plan: The Civil War
This Civil War lesson plan includes many topics of discussion. It also encourages students to build their background knowledge of the Civil War through research and a suggested reading list.
Time of the Lincolns: A Teachers Guide
The PBS film Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided and this companion Web site, The Time of the Lincolns, offer insights into topics in American history including women’s rights, slavery, abolition, politics and partisanship, the growth of the industrial economy, and the Civil War. You can use part or all of the film, or delve into the rich resources available on this Web site to learn more, either in a classroom or on your own. PBS provides a lesson plan that encourages debate and discussion among students.
The Civil War Through a Child’s Eye – Lesson Plan
This lesson uses primary sources such as photos and daguerreotypes as well as historical fiction to encourage students to view the Civil War from a different perspective, that of a child. The plan culminates in each student using Readers Theater and writing a literary first-person account of one of the photographed children. Pre-selected photos and daguerreotypes from the Library of Congress’s American Memory collections are provided, as well as instructional material on use of the primary sources and links to a variety of other Civil War Web sites. Designed for grades 6 to 8.
Ladies, Contraband, and Spies: Women in the Civil War – Lesson Plan
In this concise lesson, students use primary sources from the Library of Congress’ American Memory collections to research and understand the impact of the Civil War on women. By studying women who had different roles in and perspectives on the war, ranging from plantation mistresses to slave women and spies, students have to consider how the war affected women based on their position in society. In addition to advancing skills in using primary sources, the lesson also has students present their results visually with PowerPoint and in writing with a short textbook entry. Designed for grades 10 to 11.
Teacher Lesson Plan: What Do You See?
In this LOC lesson plan, students will examine one Civil War photograph from the selected catalog in extreme detail. This lesson plan includes all the necessary handouts and class materials for convenience. Suitable for grades 5-12
Lesson Plan: Lincoln Goes to War
In this MarcoPolo lesson plan, students examine Abraham Lincoln’s decision to mobilize the Union Army against the South. Particular attention is paid to external factors that influenced the President’s decision. Recommended for grades 9-12
Lesson Plan – We Must Not be Enemies: Lincolns First Inaugural Address
Students will gain a greater knowledge of Lincoln’s presidency in this lesson plan. A copy of the first inaugural address is included, along with many other documents and six complete lesson plans. Written for students in grades 6-8
Lesson Plan – Eve of the Civil War: People and Places of the North and South
This MarcoPolo lesson plan is intended to provide students with a knowledge of the social climate immediately before the Civil War. It comes with 6 different lessons and a good selection of online resources. Recommended for grades 6-8
Teaching with Documents Lesson Plan: The Fight For Equal Rights: Black Soldiers on the Battlefield
This NARA lesson plan contains a lot of good background information and many online resources, as well as Teacher activities and Student assignments.
September 11 & The Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was read at the September 11 anniversary ceremony. Read the Gettysburg Address and discuss with your partner(s) its main themes. Why do you think the Gettysburg Address is appropriate now?
The Meaning of Memorials
Inspired by AMERICAN VISIONS’ online content, middle school students will explore the historical and cultural meaning of memorials, our country’s “organs of social memory,” with a focus on works and structures eulogizing the American Civil War. Using a variety of online, multimedia, and community resources, students will also investigate how the Civil War impacted their community and how the War and its veterans are remembered locally. This lesson is especially appropriate as part of a unit on the Civil War, or as an excellent way to honor and give meaning to the Memorial Day holiday in May. Doing field research, students will learn about the lives of local Civil War soldiers firsthand and will gain confidence in their ability to discover the past for themselves.
The Coming of the Civil War: Multiple Choice Quiz, Fill-in-the-Blank, Flashcards, American History Glossary, American History Appendix
“Abraham Lincoln made many hard decisions during the Civil War. What would you have done?” The objective of this activity is to give students of various levels) an understanding of the Civil War by identifying the results of the decisions Abraham Lincoln made during the Civil War.
The War to Save the Union: Multiple Choice Quiz, Fill-in-the-Blank, Flashcards, American History Glossary, American History Appendix
The Student Resources section of The American Nation companion web site features introductions to chapters, interactive quizzes, flashcards, web links, an American History Glossary, and an American History Appendix
Interpreting Primary Sources
Digital History provides brief excerpts from primary sources and statistics, as well as questions to think about the topics of: Sectional Conflict, Secession and the Civil War, and Civil War
Digital History Resource Guides
The Digital Resource Guides provide links to American history web sites by period, historical overviews, readings (online textbook chapter, Reader’s Companion), primary source documents (documents, maps, cartoons), teaching resources (chronologies, maps, quizzes), audio-visual resources, and additional resources. They are an excellent and comprehensive teaching resource.
HistoryTeacher.net: AP United States History Quizzes
A New York teacher has produced a great general site for history teachers that offers AP-level United States history quizzes on many different periods and topics.
AP United States History DBQs: 1810-1860
These student-created DBQs are part of the excellent Historyteacher.net site
Women in the American Civil War
“You will learn about military battles and the lives of women during the American Civil War, 1861-1865, using both the Internet and other resources. You will work both by yourself and in a group throughout this unit. Your group will write 2 letters from a woman who may have lived during the Civil War and 2 letters from the woman’s relative.”
Junior General: 19th Century
This site, aimed at middle school students, attempts to illustrate military history through the use of tabletop simulations of historical battles. Ranging in time from ancient Egypt to the American Civil War, to the Vietnam war, these simulations will be applicable to many history classes. Each simulation requires rulers, dice, and maps and paper soldiers printed out from the website. These complex simulations will require considerable amounts of class time, as well as preparation time by the instructor. However, they have the potential to create a unique and engaging experience. As well as providing extensive information about the simulations themselves, the website also lists books and other sites with more historical information about many of the conflicts.
Civil War: Blank Map
The companion web site to The American People offers blank maps related to various topics in American history. The maps can be printed or placed in a PowerPoint presentation. Go to Blank Maps for Quizzes.
Timeline of the Civil War
The Library of Congress provides a timeline and photographs from 1861-1865.