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Civil War Trust

Civil War Primer March 5, 2009

Civil War Teacher Update

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.  Best Lesson Plan Competition

2.  Registration Now Open
    Civil War Preservation Trust's Eighth Annual Summer Teacher Institute
    July 24-26, 2009: Fredericksburg, VA

3. Great Web Sites

4. Events and Programs

5. Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

6. Trivia

7. Selected CWPT Education Programs


1. Best Lesson Plan Competition

Sponsored by History and the Civil War Preservation Trust

We know you have a great Civil War lesson plan up your sleeves - one that is challenging and relevant to today’s students.  So enter the Best Civil War Lesson Plan contest for your chance at awards and recognition.  K-12 teachers nationwide in public, private and home schools - may enter.

Awards are generously donated by The History Channel.  They are one thousand for first place, seven hundred and fifty for second, and five hundred for 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 an 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

Good luck!


2.  Registration Now Open
    Civil War Preservation Trust's Eighth Annual Summer Teacher Institute
    July 24-26, 2009: Fredericksburg, VA

The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) will host its Eighth Annual Teacher Institute from July 24-26, 2009 in Spotsylvania County, VA. This free weekend will feature workshops, battlefield tours of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, entertainment, speakers, and networking opportunities.  Teachers or librarian / media specialists who work with students in grades K through 12 are eligible to attend.

This year the institute will include teacher exhibits, giving teachers the chance to show off what they have been doing in their classroom to teach the Civil War. Teachers are encouraged to bring student work samples, lesson plans, and ideas that have proven successful.

The institute registration page is now online.  Register at the link above for both the program in general and the teacher exhibit area.  Directions, workshop information and frequently asked questions are also available on our updated Institute page.  Stipend applications will be available online soon.

Friday and Sunday workshops include African American Leadership During the Civil War Era - Using Primary Sources to Create First Person Narratives; Local Civil War History: How to use Your Local History to Learn About and Teach the Civil War; Using Technology to Teach the Civil War: Web 2.0 Tools and Techniques; From Antietam to Chancellorsville: The Civil War Diary of C.D.M. Broomhall, 124th Pennsylvania; Math and the Civil War: Using Graphs, Charts, and Stats to Learn About the Civil War; From Dred Scott to Emancipation: Evolving Views on Slavery; Civil War Multimedia Journals: Using Technology to Create a Civil War Journal; The Civil War and the Library of Congress: Best Practices for Searching the Library of Congress; Liverpool and Confederacy: Exploring the Relationship Between Liverpool and the Confederacy; and The Civil War and Fiction: Using Fictional Stories to Teach the Civil War.

Saturday field trip choices are Chancellorsville - featuring CWPT property The First Day at Chancellorsville OR Fredericksburg - featuring CWPT property at Slaughter Pen Farm.

Virginia Tech's Center for Civil War Studies will be an active partner in the institute. Dr. James I. "Bud" Robertson, Director of the Center, will be a keynote speaker at the institute and will be joined by William C. Davis, Director of Programs for the Center. Through our partnership with Virginia Tech, CWPT is able to offer Continuing Education Unit credits to participating educators.  Also participating will be The Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission, History, and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Parks. 

Accommodations are reserved at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center.  Hotel reservations must be made by June 30th, 2009 to receive the Teacher Institute rate. When you call be sure to indicate that you are with the Civil War Preservation Trust Teacher Institute.

More details are available on the web site.  If you need additional information, call (202) 367-1861 ext. 223 or email


3. Great Web Sites
Great 1860 United States Outline map.  The United States index is at
Library of Congress:  This Day in History (with images)
National Civil War Chaplains Museum
Another good writing web site about newspaper articles.
Document Based Analysis Worksheets - for analyzing text, posters, cartoons, artifacts, graphics and photographs.
Blog entries from an excellent preservationist teacher in Washington Court House, Ohio.  This teacher enjoys getting students "away from the fluorescent lights".  They have worked on many projects, including identifying the graves of over 3,000 USCTs in Ohio.


==> ==> ==> The CWPT history pages have moved to



4. Events and Programs

==> National Underground Railroad Essay Competition
National History Club
Deadline March 15, 2009
Contact:  Bob Nasson at

Students are invited to write an essay of not more than 2,000 words (supplemented with a bibliography) conveying what lessons they believe emerge from the history of the underground railroad and the movement that resulted in the abolishment of slavery in the United States that can help guide the abolition of contemporary forms of slavery that exist in today's world.

These essays could develop lessons that emerge in areas including the following:

 - Economic underpinnings of slavery and how understanding/modifying
   them can be used to abolish slavery
 - The role of laws and legislation
 - The role of media, print publications and, today, modern forms of media
 - The role of grassroots organizations
 - The role of individual leadership, including elements of
   character, e.g. courage, persistence.
 - The role of passive and active resistance

Entries may be submitted in one or more of the following forms: 1) Microsoft Word document or 2) PDF document. All entries must be received by March 15, 2009 and can be emailed to Bob Nasson at (please type "NURFC" in the subject line).  Email Bob Nasson for  additional information.


==> Spring 2009 Symposium on The United States Colored Troops,
Greenville, NC
March 20-21, 2009
Contact: Malcolm Beech, or 252.522.4660 / 301.593.0527

"Earning the Right to Citizenship - V," a regional symposium about the role of the US Colored Troops will be held March 20 21, 2009 at the Hilton Hotel in Greenville, NC. The weekend will feature presentations and exhibits from national and regional historians, storytellers, civil war scholars, and living history cultural interpreters  revolving around the participatory role of African Americans in the Civil War. The symposium is produced by the Cultural Heritage Museum (CHM), NC’s primary resource on African American participation in the Civil War located in Kinston  and co-sponsored by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation,  North Carolina Humanities Council, the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, North Carolina Civil War Tourism Council, Tryon Palace, New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, Military Road Preservation Trust, NC Association of Black Storytellers.  USCT Symposium, Teachers’ Workshop and re-enactments are free. Awards Banquet ticket fees are $25 in advance.


==> Call for Proposals: Historical Tourism in the American South
Department of History, UNC, Charlotte
Deadline: April 1, 2009
Contact: Karen Cox at

This is an invitation to submit proposals for essays to join others in a book (now under advance contract) that explores historical tourism in the American South.  Historic sites, for the purposes of this volume, are those places that have been restored and/or adapted for the purpose of preserving some aspect of southern history and interpreting that history to the public.  This volume will be divided into four sections each exploring a different aspect of tourism to sites of southern history and memory and proposals should fit into one of the following categories:

People and Places:  will examine individual southerners and the historic sites preserved to tell their story.
War and Remembrance: will examine Revolutionary, Civil War, Spanish-American sites in the region.
Race and Slavery: will examine historic sites that interpret slavery or civil rights.
Landscape and Memory:  will examine tourist sites that are concerned with the physical environment. 
 Suggestions include cemeteries, Rock City, the Virginia's Natural Bridge or the Florida Everglades.

Final essays will be 20-25 pages in length and will be accompanied by illustrations.
For consideration, please send a brief CV and a 1-page abstract by April 1, 2009 describing your topic to:

Karen L. Cox, Editor
Department of History * UNC, Charlotte


==>NCSS Seeks Children's Trade Book Reviewers
National Council for the Social Studies
Deadline: April 1, 2009

NCSS seeks members to serve on the NCSS/Children's book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People selection committee.  Twelve reviewers read, evaluate, and select children's trade books for the annual bibliography, "Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People."  The final list contains from 100 to 200 titles selected from as many as 800 books submitted by publishers each year.  The list is published annually in the May/June issue of Social Education, distributed by the Children's Book Council, and is archived at

 - Teacher, social studies / literature specialist, or librarian / media specialist, in any educational setting - K through University level.
 - Current NCSS member
 - Available for three-year term
 - Read 250 to 275 books between July and December (committee members may keep the books they receive)
 - Attend a 1- to 2-day selection meeting in January in New York City, at the committee member's expense
 - Write one-twelfth of the annotations of the selected titles each year.

Send brief resume and cover letter describing experience with trade books, your service as a reviewer, and the community in which you work to or Notables Committee, NCSS, 8555 16th Street, Suite 500, Silver Spring, MD  20910.  Questions should also be directed to the same email.


==> Best Lesson Plan Competition
Civil War Preservation Trust
May 1, 2009
(See number one, above, or email for more details.)


==> Civil War Preservation Trust Poster & Essay Competition
Deadline May 15, 2009

Use this activity to supplement your springtime Civil War Unit!
Motto:  “It's Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields” -
For Grades 4 through 12
     Posters: Elementary, Junior and Senior
     Essays: Junior and Senior
History has donated awards for the top students AND their teachers.
Deadline:  All entries must be received in our office by May 15, 2009.
==> Read guidelines at


For other springtime activities see “Adopt a Battlefield” at the end of this newsletter.



5. Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

Ireland's sons (and daughters) served on both sides of the conflict.  Amazing stories abound.
For St. Patrick's Day,  discuss these famous Irish Civil War personalities with your students.

==> Patrick Cleburne - Irish-born Confederate General
 A full biography with activities is at
 You may also find one at
 Cleburne fell at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee - learn more about the battle here:
 Note that he was born on St. Patrick's Day!

==> Hiram Berdan - Founder of the (Union) Berdan Sharpshooters
 A brief biography is at
 Much information is available via the Berdan's Sharpshooters' living history group

==> Father William Corby - Union Chaplain
 Learn about his life at

==> Thomas Meagher and the famed "Irish Brigade"
 Note: there were several groups which called themselves the "Irish Brigade".
 Several additional articles on Irish soldiers are available at Wild Geese Today

==> General Michael Corcoran and the Confederate Irish in America’s Civil War

==> Bridget Divers, Daughter of the Regiment
 This is a bulleted list of points designed for the classroom.

There are many famous Irish soldiers and Irish groups who fought in the war.  I apologize if I left out your favorites!


6. Trivia

A.  American Zouave groups were modeled after troops from where?  They were known for their bravery and marksmanship.

B.  What were "shebangs"?

C.  Which Civil War figure had relatives nicknamed "Light Horse" and "Black Horse"?

D.  Camp Chase, Ohio, was named after whom?

E.  "Dear Mother I've Come Home To Die" -- is it a book, piece of music or poem?  By whom was it written?

Answers at Bottom.


7.  Selected CWPT Education Programs


Unless indicated otherwise, email for details.

==> CWPT Gifted & Talented Curriculum: Character & Leadership in the Civil War
Examine Civil War leaders through the lenses of character and leadership.  Designed for “gifted and talented” students — or for students with a special interest in the Civil War — this adaptable enrichment experience may be used alone or in addition to your existing curriculum.  Follows the NCSS Thematic Strands as well as Character Counts!(sm) and the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

==> Two-Week Civil War Curriculum CD-ROM
For grades 5, 8 & 11.  Download online, or send your land address. The classroom curriculum guide is endorsed by History (The History Channel). According to Dr. Libby O'Connell, Chief Historian at History, the CWPT Civil War curriculum guide is "the best two-week curriculum on the Civil War available to teachers today."

==> Teacher Institute: July 24-26, 2009, Spotsylvania County Virginia
Eighth Annual Teacher Institute from July 24-26, 2009 in Spotsylvania County, VA. Features "field trip" tours of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, focusing on techniques teachers can use to make a battlefield visit a central part of their Civil War curriculum. Open to all teachers and school librarians grades K-12, not just history teachers.  For more information contact the Civil War Preservation Trust at (202) 367-1861 ext. 223 or email

==> 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.  Email for details.

==> 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.

==> Civil War Preservation Trust Book Lists

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


Trivia Answers

A.  A zouave regiment was characterized by its bright, colorful uniform which usually included baggy trousers, a vest, and a fez in different combinations of red, white, and blue. American zouave units were found in both Union and Confederate armies. They were modeled after French African troops who were known for their bravery and marksmanship.  You may learn more at

B.   Shebangs were crude shelters Civil War prisoners of war built to protect themselves from the sun and rain. This definition is also from the CWPT Civil War glossary.  Another site is

C.  Robert E. Lee. 

His father was "Light Horse Harry" Lee, the famous Revolutionary War hero.  Unfortunately, his father was imprisoned for debts when Robert was 2 years old.  The elder Lee wrote to his son, Carter, while in "self-imposed exile" to the islands.  The letters contain one reference to Robert E. Lee:  "Robert was always good, and will be confirmed in his happy turn of mind by his ever watchful and affectionate mother. Does he strengthen his native tendency?"

"Black Horse Harry" was Robert's older half-brother, Henry Lee. Jr.  It was meant in a less-than-complimentary manner.

Thankfully, Robert E. Lee was known for many things, including an excellent reputation.

D.  It was named after Salmon P. Chase, former governor of Ohio, Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln, and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (later).  "Initially designated as a training camp for new recruits in the Union Army, Camp Chase was converted to a military prison as the first prisoners of war arrived from western Virginia. In the early months of the Civil War, Camp Chase primarily held political prisoners--judges, legislators and mayors from Kentucky and Virginia accused of loyalty to the Confederacy," the author writes.  "In early 1862, Camp Chase served briefly as a prison for Confederate officers. But after a military prison for Confederate officers opened at Johnson's Island, Ohio, Camp Chase housed only non-commissioned officers, enlisted men, and political prisoners."   Read more about Camp Chase - the training camp and the prison - at this Teaching With Historic Places lesson:  "Not to Be Forgotten: Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery" (

E.  It is a piece of music written by Henry Tucker in 1863.  See the sheet music cover at  You may also find the cover and lyrics by browsing "America Singing: Nineteenth Century American Song Sheets" at the Library of Congress --  There is an excellent source of letters, maps, broadsides, sheet music, photos and prints / engravings at the Kentucky Library and Museum (via WKU Libraries, online) at  Both of these sites are ones to bookmark.



Jennifer Rosenberry
Education Coordinator
Civil War Preservation Trust
11 Public Square, Suite 200
Hagerstown, MD 21740

==> CWPT is working to save land at Sailor's Creek, Virginia.  According to the American Battlefield Protection Program, "On April 6 at Sailor’s Creek, nearly one fourth of the retreating Confederate army was cut off by Sheridan’s Cavalry and elements of the II and VI Corps. Most surrendered, including Confederate generals Richard S. Ewell, Barton, Simms, Kershaw, Custis Lee, Dubose, Hunton, and Corse. This action was considered the death knell of the Confederate army. Upon seeing the survivors streaming along the road, Lee exclaimed “My God, has the army dissolved?'" Read more at


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