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Civil War Trust

Civil War Primer - April 27 2009

Civil War Teacher Newsletter

 Civil War Teacher Newsletter

The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) is America's largest non-profit organization (501-C3) devoted to the preservation of our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields.

CWPT's Education Department promotes Civil War battlefield preservation by encouraging the study of the war's timeless lessons, provoking thought about the vital roles these battlefields play in our nation's history.


1.  Friday: Best Lesson Plan Deadline

2.  Trivia

3.  Great Web Sites

4.  Selected CWPT Education Programs


1.  Friday: Best Lesson Plan Deadline

Don't Miss Your Chance!
Deadline May 1st

Best Lesson Plan Competition
Sponsored by History and the Civil War Preservation Trust

The Best Civil War Lesson Plan contest gives teachers the chance to share their classroom-tested lessons with a nationwide audience.  It also gives teachers the chance to earn awards and recognition.  K-12 teachers nationwide in public, private and home schools may enter.

Awards are generously donated by The History Channel.

$1000 - first place
$750  - second place
$500  - third place

All submissions must be received by May 1, 2009.
Winning teachers will be notified in September 2009.

All lesson plans must include the following elements in order to be considered:

 - The teacher's complete contact information including the name of the teacher's school with complete mailing address, complete home address, and preferred phone number and/or email address.
 - The lesson goals and objectives;
 - A list of the materials to be used, as well as copies of teacher-created handouts;
 - An approximation of the time involved;
 - An explanation of the methods to be used and procedure of the lesson;
 - A list of correlating state standards for social studies / history in the teacher's home state,
   OR the appropriate NCSS strands (;
 - Use of at least one primary source -- this could be a historic photograph, document, letter, diary, artifact, etc.,
 - Inclusion of elements that are engaging and thought provoking for students with a variety of learning styles.

If possible, teachers are encouraged to introduce the concept of battlefield preservation within their lesson.  However, lack of this component will not cause an entry to be disqualified; teachers are also encouraged, but not required, to submit a method of evaluation with their lesson plan.

Submissions become the property of the Civil War Preservation Trust and History, and may be reprinted, posted on their respective web sites, and/or shared via other forms of media.

Send your lesson plan to

Education Department
Civil War Preservation Trust
11 Public Square, Suite 200
Hagerstown, MD  21740

fax:  301.665.1416

Good luck!


2.  Trivia - Battlefields and Civil War Towns

A.  Unable to defend this Missouri town, the Confederates evacuated to Island No. 10 in April 1862.  When Island No. 10 was surrendered on the 8th, the Mississippi was open to Fort Pillow, TN.  Which town am I?

B.  Part one:  After making a demonstration against this DC area fort in July 1864, Jubal Early told his men, "We didn't take Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like Hell."  Which fort am I?

Part two:  At this fort, which aide-de-camp told Lincoln, "Get down, you fool!"

C.  In this needless Georgia battle, Confederate forces, mostly old men and young boys, faced US Gen. Sherman's veterans, some armed with Spencer repeating rifles. The November 1864 battle did not stop Sherman in his March to the Sea.  Which battle am I?

D.  CS Cols. James McIntosh and Douglas Cooper attacked Chief Opothleyahola's pro-Union Creeks and Seminoles during this December 1861 battle.  Many survivors fled to Kansas.  Which battle am I?

E.  US Gen. Canby's huge concentration of 16,000 men - vs. CS Gen. Liddell's 4,000 men - breached the earthworks at this Alabama fort hours after Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia.  Which fort am I?

Answers at bottom.


3.  Great Web Sites

Alabama Internet resources.  Civil War resources are about 1/3 of the way down the page.

Confederate Constitution

Lesson Plans available from Fort Donelson National Battlefield

"After news of President Lincoln's assassination reached New York, in all arteries and capillaries of the city, shopkeepers designed makeshift shrines to the martyred president. An anonymous diarist walked for  miles, drawing sketches of as many storefronts as he could (evidence suggests, but does not confirm, that the diarist was a man). Through his relentless activity this nameless reporter made the news a bit more comprehensible."  Selections from the diary, from the New York Times.

-; and
Virginia Sesquicentennial Commemoration

The Battle of Prairie Grove: Civilian Recollections of the Civil War.  By Teaching with Historic Places.

Stones River Battlefield - Importance of the Railroads.  Did you know that the railroad played a large part in the preservation of this battlefield?  According to the National Park Service, "During the decades following the Civil War, the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad was the primary way that people traveled to the Stones River battlefield...The railroad had a platform at Stones River National Cemetery. It also purchased and cared for property near the Stones River and Redoubt Brannan, one of the interior earthworks of Fortress Rosecrans...The railroad publicized special Civil War tours that included Stones River. In 1906, a monument designed by Major John W. Thomas, the president of the company and former Master of Transportation for the Confederate Army of Tennessee, was erected near the Stones River to commemorate the final attack of the battle."


4.  Selected CWPT Education Programs

Unless indicated otherwise, email for details.

==>     CWPT Gifted & Talented Curriculum

==>     Two-Week Civil War Curriculum CD-ROM

==>     Teacher Institute: July 24-26, 2009, Spotsylvania County Virginia

==>     More Civil War Lesson Plans

==>     Civil War Glossary

==>     Classroom Memberships
Monthly "Civil War Classroom" and quarterly "Hallowed Ground" magazine, classroom materials, curriculum CD-ROM & "It Happened in the Civil War". Email to sponsor a classroom, sign up, or review a newsletter.

==>     Adopt a Battlefield
Great for your springtime Civil War unit!  Receive free Civil War materials including a mix of fun and informative items with adaptable activities.  Participants pledge to become involved in preservation through  fundraising, service and advocacy.  For youths, classrooms, scouts, and homeschoolers.  Email for more information.

==>     Traveling Trunk:
Reserve one for the 2009-2010 school year to access hands-on items, books, music and visuals. The 2008-2009 school year is closed.  Email for more information.


Trivia Answers

A.  New Madrid.

B.  Fort Stevens.  And, it was Oliver Wendell Holmes (future Supreme Court justice) who told Lincoln to "get down".

C.  Griswoldville.

D.  Chustenahlah.

E.  Fort Blakely.


Jennifer Rosenberry
Education Coordinator

==> Go to to see how you can help us save battlefields!

Civil War Preservation Trust
11 Public Square, Suite 200
Hagerstown, MD  21740

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