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Contest Winners!

The Civil War Trust and History™ are pleased to announce the 2011 Postcard and Essay Contest winners. There were some truly outstanding entries this year; we were thrilled to see the use of the theme Preserving 150 Years of History: Secession and the War's Beginnings in both written and artistic interpretation.

View the Winners »

From the Educators

June 2011
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

Just a few months into the Civil War's 150th anniversary, I can wholeheartedly say that interest in our collective mission has never been stronger—we are seeing an unprecedented level of media coverage and web site traffic which we fully expect will translate into the preservation of more battlefield land and a broadening of our educational offerings for people of all ages.

Read below to learn about this year's postcard and essay contest winners, our teacher events, our latest interpretive efforts, and our new web offerings. The Civil War Trust's new 1.5-mile interpretive trail at Mine Run is now open and will soon be supplemented by expanded web-based content as well.

We are particularly pleased to unveil our new Bull Run animated map ahead of the 150th anniversary of the battle—July 21, 2011. Distilling a complex battle into a six-minute graphic and audio presentation involved several people and scores of hours, but I think you'll agree that it is worth the effort!

As the 150th continues to gain momentum, join us in seizing the opportunity of our lifetimes to teach the multi-faceted history of the Civil War and the importance of preserving these hallowed grounds forever.


Garry Adelman, Director of History and Education


Bull Run Animated Map


With the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run rapidly approaching, refresh your understanding of that famous fight with our new animated map! The map demonstrates the movements of the two armies over the course of the day -- their advances and retreats, from the crossing at Sudley Springs Ford and the fighting at Matthews Hill to the climax at Henry Hill and Chinn Ridge -- in this innovative and informative approach to understanding the first major battle of the war.

See the Map »


Teacher Institute: Last Spots Filling Up Fast, Register Now!

Teacher Institute

With the Teacher Institute quickly approaching we are taking our last registrations. Now is the time to sign-up and reserve your seat for what is going to be our best Teacher Institute yet!

Sign-Up Today! »


Mine Run Interpretation

Mine Run

The Civil War Trust's Mine Run: Payne's Farm Battlefield Walking Trail is now open! Learn more about this relatively unknown but significant engagement by walking the battlefield in historic Orange County, Virginia.

Learn More »


Feature Teacher, Cheryl Perry

Feature Teacher Cheryl Perry

A devoted history teacher who is highly regarded by her peers, Cheryl Perry engages students with the past through storytelling and independent research. Find out how she does it and how you can too.

Find Out More »


Nominate a Tennessee Teacher

Bobby Housch

Nominate a Tennessee Teacher for our Chairman's Award for excellence in Civil War education. Send us an e-mail at education@civilwar.org and include your nominee's name, e-mail, and a short paragraph about why he or she should receive the chairman's award. Self-nominations are welcome.

Nominate Today »


Video: Wilderness: Lee and Grant

Lee and Grant

NPS Historian John Hennessy discusses the important role that Ulysses S. Grant played at the Battle of the Wilderness and in the Union war effort of 1864. Learn more about this pivotal moment in Civil War history.

Watch the Video »


Wilson's Creek: Missouri's Bloody Hill

Wilson's Creek

Read our new Hallowed Ground article on the Battle of Wilson's Creek and the struggle for Bloody Hill -- the first major Civil War battle in the Western Theater.

Read the Article »

Book of the Month

Bloody Times

Bloody Times: the funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the manhunt for Jefferson Davis
By James L. Swanson. New York: Collins, 2011.

Swanson, the author of Chasing Lincoln's Killer, continues to engage and connect young readers with history without them even knowing it. Bloody Times is the young reader's version of Bloody Crimes, which details the concurrent journey of two presidents: the journey of President Abraham Lincoln's funeral train that brought him home to Springfield, Illinois for burial and the journey of President Jefferson Davis, on the run for his life. In early April 1865, with the defeat of Lee's army imminent, Davis abandoned Richmond and headed south to Danville with the intentions of preserving the Confederate government. Lincoln entered Richmond shortly after. Swanson juxtaposes the days following these two events. Washington, D.C. rejoiced over the news of Lee's surrender while that same news devastated Davis. But as history shows, not everyone in Washington was pleased with the news and John Wilkes Booth's assassination of Lincoln changed everything. And although the narrative would seem to diverge at this point, Swanson holds the narrative together by showing the nation's attitude towards these two presidents. Lincoln was eulogized while Davis was demonized. For many days Davis was unaware of Lincoln's death, unaware that newspapers linked him to the murder, but very aware that as he continued his journey south he was not welcomed in many communities. It is this human experience that captures the attention of young readers. They learn about the details and the planning of Lincoln's funeral, they experience the nation's grief while at the same time wondering just how long Davis will remain a free man. Swanson does a masterful job comparing the day by day details of the progress of Lincoln's funeral train with Davis's travels in the South, with his situation each day becoming more desperate than the day before. Swanson's use of primary source letters, diaries and speeches and photographs provides additional insight into this turbulent time in the days immediately following the end of the war. In his epilogue, Swanson notes that Davis is "the lost man of American history". This may well be the book that will re-introduce Davis to a new generation of Social Studies students.

Purchase Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis »

See More Book Reviews »


Trivia from the Archives

Trivia from the Archives

Q. In June 1861, James E. Hanger -- founder of Hanger Prosthetics, still the U.S. market leader in the manufacture of artificial limbs -- became the first documented amputee of the Civil War when he lost his leg at this battle.

Q. In June, 1864 the U.S.S. Kearsarge and the C.S.S. Alabama dueled off the coast of this European port city.

Answers from the Archives »


Civil War on the Web

  • Blog: 150 Years Ago Today
    This fascinating page posts letters and diary entries from the corresponding day in the Civil War, drawn from the holdings of the University of Virginia Library's Special Collections.
  • Civil War Richmond
    A great website designed to collect documents, photographs, and maps pertaining to Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War. An excellent compendium of primary source materials.
  • Williamsburg: 2011 Teachers Open House Days
    Free single-day admission for those who can show teacher ID, union ID card, or school's letterhead; and discounted admission for friends and family members.

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