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Los Angeles Teacher Institute

Our regional Teacher Institute in Los Angeles is fast approaching! Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to learn about the Civil War on the West Coast, earn Continuing Education Units, participate in workshops, and hear lectures from distinguished speakers. You will also receive your own Civil War Curriculum in a Haversack, a wonderful resource for the classroom. Sign up today!

Register for the Institute »

From the Educators

January 2012
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

Happy New Year and happy second year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial! We're on to 1862 and this is when things really heat up. There's so much to cover this year; the Battle of Shiloh, the Seven Days Battles, the Battle of Antietam, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Fredericksburg, and much more. We have lesson plans, articles, maps, historic documents, curriculum material, and even videos to help you keep up and cover these topics in your classroom. In the next few months we'll also be holding two more regional teacher institutes: Los Angeles at the end of February and Chicago in April. We're constantly adding educational content for students and teachers, so follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates and check the website often!

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming institutes!

Nicole Osier, Senior Manager, Education Programs


New Year's Resolution: Learn More about Civil War in 1862


The anniversaries start to come thick and fast in 2012: Donelson, Shiloh, the Monitor vs. the Merrimac, Antietam, Fredericksburg; the list goes on… This new year, resolve to learn more about the Civil War in 1862. Check out this page, which pulls together the Civil War Trust's resources highlighting the people and the battles that made 1862 one of the most extraordinary years in American history.

See the 2012 Resolution page »


Online Civil War 150 To-Do List


We're proud to present the Civil War Trust's Bucket List for the Sesquicentennial. It's a checklist of things to do during the 150th anniversary. Watch (or re-watch!) Glory. See a reenactment. Visit a lesser known, but still enthralling, battlefield like Pickett's Mill, Monocacy or Perryville. Take a look at the list, see what you've already done, and decide what you'd like to check off next!

Learn more »


Best Lesson Plan Contest

Best Lesson Plan

We are looking for the 2012 Best Civil War Lesson Plan. If you think you have a plan that will help other educators teach the Civil War send it our way. With a grand prize of $2,500, why wait!

Learn more »


Regional Teacher Institute: Chicago Area

Chicago Institute

In April, the Civil War Trust will host another of its regional Teacher Institutes, this time in the Midwest. The Midwest was hugely important during the Civil War. Brimming with racial and political tension, it was a major supply hub for Union forces in the West. Of course, Illinois is also the ‘Land of Lincoln,' and his influence may be seen and felt throughout the region.

Read More »


Teacher Feature: Jim Percoco

Jim Percoco

Recently, Jim Percoco of West Springfield High School led his students around Gettysburg Battlefield, using the Civil War Trust Battle App. Learn more about Mr. Percoco, his students, and their experience.

Learn More »

January Civil War Battles

January battles Expand your knowledge of the Civil War by learning more about some of the great Civil War battles that occurred this month. Access our history articles, photos, maps, and links for the battles listed below:

Mill Springs
Fort Fisher


Book of the Month

Soldier's Heart

Soldier's Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers
By Gary Paulsen. New York: Delacorte Press, 1998.

When 15 year old Charley Goddard enlisted in the First Minnesota Volunteers, he little knew what fate awaited him on the fields of Gettysburg. He expected the shooting war to be over in a few months and he did not want to miss it. Charley got more than he bargained for and, ultimately, it destroyed him. At Bull Run, “death was everywhere, nowhere.” He heard minie balls whizzing by, saw comrades fall, heard their screams and demanded of God, “How can you let this happen?” After Bull Run, Charley settles into camp life but although he goes through the motions, he knows that his death is inevitable. He fights when ordered, even feeling the bloodlust in battle and “the joy of killing to live,” but he cannot bring himself to slaughter a horse for food. The descriptions of the battles mirror Charley's horror, terror and loss of innocence and, when he sees the red veil come over his eyes when he is wounded at Gettysburg, he knows at last that he is dead.

Charley survived and lived to fight more battles, but in a sense, he was spiritually dead after his first battle, when he felt as if his soul would leave him. In 1867, at 21 years of age and suffering from mental anguish, he contemplates suicide. Charley felt, “old from seeing too much, old from knowing too much” and at 23 death finally did come, the result of wounds and battle stress. Charley suffered from “soldier's heart”, what is known today as post-traumatic stress disorder and for which there was no help at the time. Paulsen's short book does not romanticize soldiering and readers experience the gruesome aspect of war, but at a safer distance than Charley. Based upon the experiences of Charley Goddard, Paulsen takes some liberties with the historical record, noting that Charley did not fight at Bull Run due to dysentery, but he does state that other facts in the book either happened to Charley or to the men around him. In his foreword Paulsen states that war is always appalling. Soldier's Heart reminds of us of that and leaves the reader mourning for all those destroyed by it. Highly recommended for grades 6 and up.

Special thanks to Rosanne Zajko for her book reviews! If you have a Civil War book that you particularly like, or would like to review for this newsletter, send it in to education@civilwar.org. Thanks!

Purchase Soldier's Heart »

See More Book Reviews »


Trivia from the Archives

Trivia from the Archives

Q. Which three prominent Confederate Generals of the Eastern Theater (each commanded at least a Corps) were born in the month of January (1807, 1821, 1824)?

Q. On January 15, 1865, this fort, the last remaining Confederate stronghold on the Atlantic coast, fell to Union forces.

Answers from the Archives »


Civil War on the Web

  • Virginia Harpers Weekly Archive
    This website has collected more than 100 high quality illustrations produced by Harpers Weekly during the Civil War which relate to the state of Virginia. Prepared specifically for students and scholars for research and study, this page is a valuable resource.
  • Ole Miss Civil War Archive
    The University of Mississippi, which only recently changed its mascot from Colonel Reb to the Bear (in honor of illustrious dropout William Faulkner), unsurprisingly holds an extensive Civil War collection. Correspondence, cartoons, diaries, drawings, maps, military records and more can all be easily accessed online.
  • Believe Me Your Own: Letters from the Battlefield to Fanny from Alex (1862-1865)
    The Texas Collection of Baylor University presents the serial release of a fascinating collection of Civil War correspondence in an online exhibit beginning January 9, 2012. Visit each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from January 9 to March 9, 2012, and follow the news from the battlefield through a striking series of Civil War letters, written by a Confederate soldier of the 19th LA after the Battle of Shiloh to his wife and four children at home.

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