Internet Resources for Learning About the Civil War
House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln
A House Divided explores the institution of slavery, the fierce sectionalism of free and slave economies in the rapidly expanding nation and the incredible destruction that resulted from the Civil War. The text is by Eric Foner, and Olivia Mahoney. Standard 8.10.1, 8.10.2, and 8.10.3
Images of the American West and Civil War
This extensive collection of images is indexed by subject and state. It includes images of the Civil War and many aspects of life in the American West. Standards 4.4.3, 4.4.4, 5.8.1, 8.8.2, and 8.10 (general)
Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library
Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library highlights two collections at the Library of Congress featuring the life of Abraham Lincoln. The Abraham Lincoln Papers contains approximately 20,000 items including letters and papers accumulated primarily during Lincoln's presidency. The We'll Sing to Abe Our Song! online collection includes more than two hundred sheet-music compositions that represent Lincoln and the war as reflected in popular music. Standard 8.10.4
Civil War Photographs
The American Memory Civil War Photographs site has arranged the images chronologically by campaign in three areas of the United States: 1) the main eastern theater, 2) the Federal Navy and the seaborne expeditions against the Atlantic coast of the Confederacy, and 3) the war in the west. Examine photographs produced during the Civil War as a means of understanding the technological process which posed both possibilities and limitations in production. How can photographs be used as evidence to represent a given time period in American history? Standards 8.10.6 and 8.10.7. Analysis Skills: Research, Analysis and Point of View - Assess credibility of primary and secondary sources and draw sound conclusions.
Civil War and Reconstruction
This is a well-organized set of links about the Civil War divided into causes, catalysts, battles, key people, maps, and timelines. There is a short section on Reconstruction. The links mostly go to museum, university, and other authoritative sites. Standards 8.9 and 8.10 all
Pictures of the Civil War
The War Between the States was the first large and prolonged conflict recorded by photography. During the war, dozens of photographers, both as private individuals and as employees of the Confederate and Union Governments, photographed civilians and civilian activities; military personnel, equipment, and activities; and the locations and aftermaths of battles. Because wet-plate collodion negatives required from 5 to 20 seconds exposure, there are no action photographs of the war. Standards 8.10.0, 8.10.6, and 8.10.7
Comments: This National Archives site has indexed the photos into categories for easy use.
African American Odyssey
This is an incredible Library of Congress exhibit on the African American experience in American history. This digital museum is divided in nine sections: Slavery--The Peculiar Institution; Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period; Abolition; The Civil War; Reconstruction; Booker T. Washington Era; World War I and Postwar Society; Depression, New Deal, and World War II; and Civil Rights. Standards 5.4.6, 8.6.4, 8.7.2, 8.7.4, 8.9 all, 8.10.5, 8.11 all, 11.10.1-4
Comments: This resource covers many standards but seeing these documents altogether provides a powerful look at the African American experience in the U.S.
Stonewall Jackson Resources
Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson served on the VMI Faculty as Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy & Instructor of Artillery from August 1851 until the beginning of the Civil War in April 1861. The Virginia Military Institute Archives holds a large collection of Stonewall Jackson's personal papers, Jackson images, and other information about his life and times. Included here are links to full text correspondence, as well as full text information about various special topics relating to Jackson. Standard 8.10.5
American Civil War Homepage
This is an excellent collection of links to an incredible array of Civil War topics. Look here to find information general resources and specific sites with maps, causes of the war, battles, music, Lincoln, Union leaders, Confederate leaders, etc. Standard 8.10 all
At Home with Philander King 1860's
This is an interactive story based on a primary source from 1863. Help Philander King decide whether to move West or to serve in the Civil War. Standard 8.10.7
Comments: Bring the life of the people of the 1860's alive through this on-line museum.
Camp Life: Civil War Collections from Gettysburg
This National Park site is really a web museum of the ordinary soldier's life in camp during the Civil War. "Soldiering is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror" wrote one soldier to his wife. Soldiers spent weeks and months at a time in camp between engagements, even during active campaigning. Their life consisted of tedious daily routines, some of them shown through the artifacts on this site. Standards 2.1.2 and 8.10.5
Comments: Compare the articles in this Civil War soldier's tent to modern camping or modern soldier's gear. This is an excellent site for English learners.
Civil War Artillery
This award winning web page on the Civil War has information on the types of cannon, the carriages that hauled them, the ammunition used, and the drills used to learn all the elements of positioning and firing cannon. Standard 8.10.6
Comments: This site was developed by Civil War buff Chuck Ten Brink.
Civil War at the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian Institution houses an extraordinary array of Civil War artifacts in nearly a dozen of its museums and archives. They range in interest from personal effects. Abraham Lincolns black beaver top hat to examples of uniforms and weapons. This site features numerous virtual exhibitions including presentations on slavery and abolition, Abraham Lincoln, the beginning of the war, soldiers, weapons, leaders and life. Objects can be accessed individually by clicking the appropriate images. Standards 8.9 and 8.10
Civil War Cartoons
American visual satire became increasingly popular during the mid 19th century. Racial issues were an important topic for this satire. Though the Civil War ended slavery, it wasn't until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's that people began to seriously question these racist images. Standard 8.10.0
Comments: Most of the satire of the period was published in New York City in the major newspapers. Most of the Southern satire was published by small printers in the form of broadsides that have not been preserved.
Civil War Poetry and Music Home Page
These examples of poetry and music written at the time of the conflict between the Northern States and the Confederacy will bring this historical event alive for students. Standards 8.10.5 and 8.10.7
Civil War Women
This online archival collection features scanned pages and texts of the writings of three women during the American Civil War. It includes papers of Confederate and Union spies! Standard 8.10.7
Learn interesting information about Abraham Lincoln's life at this website developed by a U.S. history teacher. Standards 2.5, 3.4.6, and 8.10.4
Comments: It is recommended that teachers monitor student e-mail at this site.
Abraham Lincoln Assassination
This site by a teacher of American history includes much information about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Among the resources are a copy of the 1865 Conspiracy Trial, the text of Booth's diary, Mr. Lincoln's last day and Surrat's 1870 lecture charging that there was a conspiracy involved in the assassination. Standard 8.10.4
Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address
Discover from this speech why Lincoln worked so hard to preserve the American union and what he believed about the fugitive slave laws that then existed. Standard 8.10.4
Comments: Compare Lincoln's ideas about the basic law of America to those of the seceding states.
Abraham Lincoln: Second Inaugural Address
In this short speech on March 4, 1865, Lincoln ushers in his second term promising "...with malice toward none, and charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work..." of the civil war and rebuild the nation. Standard 8.10.4
Abraham Lincoln Online
This is a resource of information and links about Abraham Lincoln. It includes speeches, writings and news of current Lincoln studies and events. It is a thorough resource for information on the 16th President of the United States. Explores most facets of Lincoln's life in and out of politics. Standards 2.5, 3.4.6, and 8.10.4
Articles of Agreement Relating to the
Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia (1865)
The surrender formalities to end the Civil War lasted 4 days. On April 9, 1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in the parlor of a house in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, to discuss the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. The terms were generous: The men of Lee's army could return home in safety if they pledged to end the fighting and deliver their arms to the Union Army. A supporting visual primary source ÒMclean House, Appomattox Court House, Va., where the capitulation was signed by Lee and Grant, by Mathew Brady may be found at http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=103 Standard 8.10.6
Comments: This Our Documents site has a facsimile of the original document, a transcription of it, and background information to help the reader put the document in context.
Civil War 1861-1863
Learn about the first years of the Civil War, through the Battle of Gettysburg at this Annenberg Biography of America site. Explore the battle sites of the Civil War, with close-ups of the campaigns for Richmond and Vicksburg. Read the full transcript of the video program for which the site was created. A Webography links to sites with related primary and secondary source materials. Standards 8.10.6
Civil War Letters from Captain Richard W. Burt
The soldier's view of the Civil War comes alive through Captain Richard Burt's poems, songs and commentary. Standard 8.10.5
Colored Troops in the Civil War
Approximately 180,000 African-Americans comprising 163 units served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and many more African-Americans served in the Union Navy. Both free Africans-Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight. This is a brief site describing several of the important battles and a timeline. Standards 8.10.6, and 8.10.7
Coming of the Civil War
Sectional differences between North and South become an all-out crisis in the 1850's. Learn about the succession of incidents that heated up the conflict from Bleeding Kansas to the opening volley of the Civil War at Fort Sumter. Standards 8.9.3 and 8.10.1
Comments: This Biography of America site has an interactive map, the full text of the video for which it was developed, a webography and an interactive timeline. To get full use of the site, the Flash plug-in is needed.
Declaration of Causes of Secession
These primary source documents state the reasons given for secession from the American union by Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. Standard 8.10.3
Comments: The text will be difficult reading for some students but provides an interesting comparison to Lincoln's ideas of the union in his First Inaugural.
This is the text of Abraham Lincoln's proclamation on January 1, 1863 freeing the slaves in the states still in rebellion against the Union. Standard 8.10.4 and 11.1.4
This is an easy to read transcription of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves. Standard 8.10.4 and 11.1.4
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, announcing, "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious areas "are, and henceforward shall be free." Initially, the Civil War between North and South was fought by the North to prevent the secession of the Southern states and preserve the Union. Even though sectional conflicts over slavery had been a major cause of the war, ending slavery was not a goal of the war. That changed on September 22, 1862, when President Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that slaves in those states or parts of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be declared free. Standard 8.10.4 and 11.1.4
Eyewitness on the Civil War
Designed by Ibis Communications, this is one of their pages dedicated to learning about history from the people who witnessed it. This page has eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Antietum, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Surrender at Surrender At Appomattox, and the death of John Wilkes Booth. Standard 8.10.7
One of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War took place at Gettysburg, PA, July 1 to July 3, 1863. At the end of the battle, the Union's Army of the Potomac had successfully repelled the second invasion of the North by the Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia. Several months later, President Lincoln went to Gettysburg to speak at the dedication of the cemetery for the Union war dead. Speaking of a "new birth of freedom," he delivered one of the most memorable speeches in U.S. history. Standard 8.10.4 and 11.1.4
Harper's Ferry Virtual Visitor Center
The National Park Service's Harper's Ferry Virtual Visitor Center gives an interesting look at the area's history and attractions. Included are related biographical sketches, photos, drawings, and links. Standards 8.9.1 and 8.10.6
This commercial site provides samples from historical music videos. From the Civil War section, listen to "The Kennesaw Line" about two real people who lived and fought in the Civil War. Standard 8.10.5
Letters from an Iowa Soldier in the Civil War
Step back in time to read a Civil War soldier's letters to his sweetheart. Newton Scott's letters to Hannah Cove are filled with details of the war and the living conditions in the Union camps. Standards 8.10.5 and 8.10.7
Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War
The Valley of the Shadow Project details life in two American communities (one Northern and one Southern) from the time of John Browns Raid through the era of Reconstruction. In this digital archive you may explore thousands of original letters and diaries, newspapers, speeches, census, and church records left by men and women in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Giving voice to hundreds of individual people, the Valley Project tells forgotten stories of life during the era of the Civil War. Standards 8.10.2, 8.10.3, 8.10.4, 8.10.6 and 8.10.7