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Civil War Trust

February 1 2008 Teacher Newsletter

Civil War Preservation Trust Teacher Update

The Civil War Preservation Trust is America's largest non-profit organization (501-C3) devoted to the preservation of our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields. The Trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public of the war’s history and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it.


1. This Day in History
February 1, 1861:  Texas Convention Votes for Secession
 February 2, 1864:  Lincoln Orders 500,000 Men Be Drafted

2. Great Web Sites

3. Join Us at the CWPT Summer Teacher Institute

4. Poster and Essay Competition: “Preserve the Spirit of History”

5. Trivia

6. CWPT Education Programs


1. This Day in History

*February 1, 1861:  Texas Convention Votes for Secession

According to E.B. Long’s “Civil War Day By Day”, “The Convention of the State of Texas voted 166 to 7 in favor of secession.  Assembling in Austin Jan. 28, the convention expressed perhaps only part of the opinion of citizens of that sparsely settled state, but it provided, in accordance with the legislature requirements, for an election by the people and set it for Feb. 23.  In actual fact the seventh and last of the first group of states to secede had left the Union.  Now it would take something further to bring about a decision in the eight other slave states” (page 31).

Read the Texas articles of secession at:

“Done by the people of the State of Texas, in convention assembled, at Austin, this 1st day of February, A.D. 1861 … Ratified 23 Feb 1861 by a vote of 46,153 for and 14,747 against.

*February 1, 1864:  Lincoln Ordered 500,000 Men Be Drafted

Also according to E.B. Long, “President Lincoln, acting under the congressional conscription act, ordered that 500,000 men be drafted on March 10 to serve for three years or for the duration of the war” (page 459). 

In the beginning of the war, the people sang such songs as “We are Coming Father Abraham (300,000 More)” --  By 1864 the enthusiasm had certainly cooled, as the 1863 New York City draft riots demonstrated.  The house of James Sloan Gibbons – who wrote the song – was destroyed in the riots (1001 Things Everyone Should Know about the Civil War, Vandiver, p. 145)

2. Great Web Sites
Learn all about the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, from Harp Week.

View the texts of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, from the National Park Service.

View primary sources through e-history at Ohio State University. 

Here is a sampling of items to view:  Letterman Medical Report on Antietam (1862), The Emancipation Proclamation (1863), The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, The Eldredge Civil War Diary, Civil War Letters of William Samuel Craig, The Follett Brothers Letters, The Melville Cox Follett Diary, Amos Hardy Letters, Letters of the Fox Brothers, Robert Cruikshank Letters, The Civil War History of John Ritland, Dwight Henry Cory Letters and Diary, The James M. Randall Diary, and more.

Through the Smithsonian – a Civil War Valentine.  (View soon – I’m not sure how long this will be online.)

Freedmen and Southern Society Project

“The Freedmen and Southern Society Project was established in 1976 … depicting the drama of emancipation in the words of the participants: liberated slaves and defeated slaveholders, soldiers and civilians, common folk and the elite, Northerners and Southerners.”

Chronology of Emancipation in the Civil War

Tapped In – educator networking site.  Log in as a guest and search for “Civil War”.  Go to my office.

Library of Congress … Lincoln Assassination Papers


3.  Join us at the CWPT Summer Teacher Institute

CWPT's seventh Teacher Institute will take place in Hagerstown, MD, on July 25-27. The focus will be Antietam and Harpers Ferry. We hope you will register now for another exciting program.

Classroom sessions include civilian, military, teaching and informational topics.  You will gain practical information, techniques and topics to use in the classroom (not lectures).  In addition, battlefield visits are “field trips”, not “battlefield tours”.

You’ll meet teachers from across the country and share ideas, as well as receive a resource book for you and your school.

Classroom sessions are offered on Friday and Sunday; on Saturday, visit either Antietam or Harpers Ferry.  Attendees will have pre-registered for their choice of classes and their field trip. 

Please save your spot at the program now.  Class pre-registration will be offered soon.

Continuing Education Units may also be obtained through Virginia Tech.  This option is offered by pre-registration only.  

Registration forms are available at

The hotel will be the Sheraton Four Points, Hagerstown:

Sheraton Four Points Hagerstown
1910 Dual Highway
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 790-3010
Rooms are $75 per night.  Teachers must mention “CWPT Teacher Institute” to get this rate.  Parking is free. 

There is a $50 registration deposit that is refunded upon completion of the program. 

For more information, email


4. Poster and Essay Competition: “Preserve the Spirit of History”

Deadline:  May 15, 2008. 

The 2008 motto is “Preserve the Spirit of History”.  Use and develop this slogan while you create either a poster or an essay to remind Americans that Civil War battlefields are endangered national treasures.  Show the country how to get involved in protecting Civil War sites!

Elementary -- grades 4, 5, and 6
Junior -- grades 7, 8, and 9
Senior -- grades 10, 11, and 12

Junior -- grades 7, 8, and 9
Senior -- grades 10, 11, and 12
Sorry – there is no elementary essay contest.
Both the top students and their teachers win.

Learn more at or by contacting


5. Trivia

A. Which law, signed by A. Lincoln on May 20, 1862, “granted a free plot of 160 acres to actual settlers on land in the public domain who would occupy and improve it for five years”?

B. Which Confederate General was wounded severely at Gettysburg, lost his right leg at Chickamauga, and asked to be relieved from duty after costly battles at Franklin and Nashville?

C. Circulation of which large newspaper was shut down on February 8, 1863, for “Copperhead tendencies”?

D. What strange tragedy occurred on Friday the 13th, 1863, at the Confederate Ordnance Laboratory on Brown’s Island?

E. What important event was started by Mrs. Mary Jackson of Richmond, VA?

Trivia Answers at Bottom


6.  Selected CWPT Education Programs 

**Teacher Institute:
Hagerstown, MD: July 25-27, 2008. Teachers will visit Antietam or Harpers Ferry on Saturday, as well as attend classes on Friday and Sunday. To register, contact The application is online at

**Two-Week Civil War Curriculum CD-ROM: For grades 5, 8 & 11.  Download online, or e-mail your land address to to have it mailed.

The classroom curriculum guide is endorsed by The History Channel, which helped develop this effective tool for educators.  According to Dr. Libby O’Connell, Chief Historian of The History Channel, the CWPT Civil War curriculum guide is “the best two-week curriculum on the Civil War available to teachers today.”  Dr. O’Connell notes that the guide is part of The History Channel’s ongoing partnership with CWPT to encourage students and teachers alike to learn more about our nation’s unique Civil War heritage.

**Classroom Membership:
Contains the monthly classroom newsletter and quarterly Hallowed Ground magazine, a packet of classroom materials, curriculum CD-ROM & book of Civil War trivia.  To sponsor a classroom, obtain an application, or view a newsletter - contact

**Civil War Preservation Trust Education Web Site

**Poster & Essay Competition:
Both the top students and their teachers are rewarded! Deadline:  May 15, 2008.  Learn more at or by emailing

**Adopt a Battlefield:
Save battlefields while teaching about their history! Site packs include Antietam, Appomattox, Fredericksburg, Trevilian Station, Perryville, Peninsula Campaign and Harpers Ferry.   Email for more details.  Contact for information on Third Winchester, Chancellorsville and Glendale.

**Traveling Trunk:
Rent one for the 2008/2009 school year, and access hands-on items, books, music and visuals. Email

**Battlefields as Outdoor Classrooms:
==> Contact for more information.

**Civil War Preservation Trust book catalog at LibraryThing



Trivia Answers:

*A.  The Federal Homestead Law.  Civil War Day by Day, p. 214. 
==> For more resources, visit the Library of Congress

*B. General John Bell Hood.  Hood also wrote “Advance and Retreat” – called “an apologia for his war”.  Before the book could be published his wife, his daughter, and then Hood himself died of yellow fever (1001 Things Everyone Should Know about the Civil War, Frank Vandiver, p. 101-102).

*C.  The Chicago Times.  According to Vandiver, “circulation of the Chicago Times was suspended by military order because of its Copperhead sympathies.  General Grant rescinded the order a week later.”  But on June 1st, General Burnside (commanding the Department of the Ohio) shut the paper down once again.  There were so many outraged people – including the major — that Lincoln discussed the situation with Secretary of War Stanton.  The suspension was revoked June 4, 1863  (Vandiver 164).

==> Read General Burnside’s explanation of the matter in the New York Times of June 6, 1863.  He finds discussion and criticism acceptable during peacetime, but treasonous during wartime.  This could be a good classroom discussion regarding events in 2008.

*D.  When a Confederate Ordnance Laboratory worker named Mary Ryan encountered a stuck friction primer, “she hit the table three times and flew up in the air.  When she came down, she flew up again.  Richmond mourned the loss, to death and wounds, of almost seventy people, sixty-two of whom were indigent women and girls who worked in the plant” (Vandiver 164-165).

*E.  Mary Jackson started the Richmond Bread Riot.  In the words of Frank Vandiver, she “stood up in church on April 2, 1863, brandished a bowie knife and a six-shooter, and demanded food.”  She got other women to join her and the mob moved to Capitol Square, screaming “Bread!”  Only the appearance of the Richmond City Battalion and Jefferson Davis stopped the riot (Vandiver 145). 

==> Read newspaper articles describing the event:


Jennifer Rosenberry * Education Coordinator
Civil War Preservation Trust
11 Public Square, Suite 200 * Hagerstown, MD 21740
301.665.1400 *

“I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.”
--Abraham Lincoln


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