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The Civil War

Each week, Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About ... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. Internet educator Walter McKenzie selected this week's sites, which are among the best on the Web for teaching about the Civil War.

The American Civil War Home Page
The 12 categories in his comprehensive collection of Civil War resources include images of war, battles and campaigns, documentary records, and studies by state. Constantly updated to include additions and revisions, the site is extremely helpful for targeting specific topics for study.

The Life of Civil War Private Jefferson Moses
The memoirs, diaries, and primary source documents at this site reveal the life of a Civil War soldier in Company G of the 93rd Illinois Volunteers. The materials include enrollment and discharge papers, as well as recollections of campaigns through Mississippi and across the South to the Carolinas. This is an inspiring site -- if you can get past the photo!

The Valley of the Shadow
This site from the University of Virginia compares the Civil War years in Augusta County, Virginia, and in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, maps, church records, census information, military records, and timelines offer tremendous possibilities for historiography and critical thinking. A CD-ROM version of the project will also be available soon.

Rare Map Collection -- The American Civil War
The University of Georgia presents this superb digital collection of maps related to significant events of the Civil War. Visitors will find such gems as General Sherman's campaign war map, a map illustrating the siege of Atlanta, and maps of the Battle of Gettysburg. These scanned images retain their authentic look though conveying vital information to students involved in in-depth studies.

Camp Life
The National Parks Service offers this highly polished slide show of camp life during the Civil War. The site brings together primary source quotes, images, and information that create a truly striking portrait of day-to-day camp life, as well as insights into changes that occurred when a battle broke out.

Symbols in Battle
This visually interesting collection of flags from the National Parks Service includes Civil War flags from Appommatox to Fort Sumter to Stone River. Each page also provides a link to the appropriate historic site. Perhaps most fascinating is the flag that hung at Ford's Theatre, which was torn by John Wilkes Booth's spur after he shot Abraham Lincoln.

Civil War Medicine
This unique presentation offers a factual look at the medical treatments available at the time of the Civil War. The sections on medical transport and amputation are especially well done, though not for the squeamish. The matter-of-fact yet vivid descriptions at this site are best reserved for middle and high school students.

War for State's Rights
A southerner who puts the events of the war in a different light presents this revisionist history of the Civil War. Although the historical accuracy of the information is questionable, the site provides an unbeatable resource for exploring the Confederate point of view and the power of propaganda. In the hands of a master teacher, this is potent material!

Walter McKenzie
Education World®
Copyright © 2006 Education World

Please check out our Civil War Archive for additional lesson ideas.

Originally published 06/05/2000
Links last updated 03/28/2006