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Teacher Institute in Nashville a success; spots available for Boston

The Civil War Trust's annual Teacher Institute was held July 14-17 in Nashville, Tennessee. Featuring workshops, guest speakers and battlefield tours, the Institute brought together nearly 140 teachers from across the country to learn and share new methods for teaching the Civil War. The Civil War Trust's own Rob Shenk led a workshop on utilizing technology in the classroom, celebrated author Robert Hicks delivered an inspiring talk, and teachers experienced first-rate tours of Stones River, Franklin and Nashville Civil War sites. This fall -- October 8-9 -- the Trust will host a regional institute in historic Boston, featuring tours of the Black Heritage Trail and Fort Warren again offering free continuing education units. There are still spots available, but they are filling up fast so sign up today! Finally, the Civil War Trust is pleased to announce that next summer's Annual Teacher Institute will be held in Charleston, South Carolina, where the first shots of the war were fired...

Learn More »

See photos from Nashville »

From the Educators

July 2011
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

We can barely keep up. The Civil War's 150th anniversary has created an unprecedented level of interest in the Trust's offerings and we are working feverishly to meet the demand of teachers, students and the media. We are posting new lesson plans, preparing for the new school year, getting the word out about and expanding our Battle Apps and working on all manner of new and exciting programs. Being so busy is truly a great problem to have!

As we wade through and respond to sesquicentennial demands, we will be without the Trust's Senior Manager for Education Programs, Nicole Osier...but only for a little while. Nicole's baby boy (whose name is among the Trust's most closely-guarded secrets!) is due August 4th. Long before I arrived, Nicole brought the Trust's educational resources to a whole new level. I humbly say that we are the best in the business of helping teachers teach the Civil War and Nicole has labored for years to make it so. We will miss her but look forward to her return from maternity leave later in the fall. Congratulations in advance to Nicole and her growing family!

I hope that the beginning of the school brings good things for you all. Check out our lesson plans, curricula and other resources. If you use some of our stuff in the classroom, we'd love to hear from you. Pictures are a plus!


Garry Adelman, Director of History and Education


Manassas Battle App

Bull Run Battle App

The Civil War Trust is proud to announce the release of the Manassas (Bull Run) Battle-App -- the third of its kind. This new technology is revolutionizing the battlefield tour. The iPhone compatible application utilizes GPS to help the user situate themselves on the battlefield and understand the terrain and progress of the fight better and more easily than was ever possible before. As the Washington Post writes: "No more can the kids cry "boooring" on the battlefield." The app also features video segments from top tour guides. The Manassas Battle-App, just in time for the 150th anniversary of the battle, is a fantastic teaching tool that puts the Civil War, quite literally, at your fingertips.

Learn more about the Battle App »


Sign Up to Receive the Traveling Trunk!

Traveling Trunk

The Traveling Trunk is back! Thanks to Ferguson Enterprises, you can now sign-up to receive the Civil War Trust's Traveling Trunk, full of hands-on learning tools that really bring the Civil War to life for kids. In the past the trunk has been very popular, so sign-ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Did we mention it was 100% free?

Sign Up to Receive the Traveling Trunk »


Successful Student Preservationists

Student Preservationists

The Civil War Trust would like to recognize the efforts of student-groups at Monmouth Academy in Maine and Waynesfield-Goshen High School in Ohio. These two schools are leading examples of what is possible when teachers get students interested and involved in preservation efforts.

Learn more about successful student preservationists »


First Battle of Bull Run Sesquicentennial

Bull Run Sesquicentennial

It was 150 years ago this July 21 that the First Battle of Bull Run was fought in northern Virginia. It was the largest battle ever fought on American soil up to that time, and many hoped that it would put an end to the tensions that were threatening to tear the nation in two. In fact, it was merely a prelude to 4 years of bloodshed. Many men who went on to be enshrined in American historical lore were there, and the land they fought over is still preserved in a state close to that of 1861. Learn more about the battle on our website, then get out there and visit!

Learn more about Bull Run »

See photos from the commemoration »


New crossword puzzle: The War Begins

New Crossword

Check out the new crossword puzzle in our Contests & Quizzes section: The War Begins, produced by Museum Masterworks.

Do the Crossword »


Historian Video: John Hennessy at Second Manassas

Hennessy at Second Manassas

Learn more about the Battle of Second Manassas with NPS Historian John Hennessy as he discusses the historical importance of the 44-acre tract that the Civil War Trust is working to save on the battlefield.

Watch the Video »


July Civil War Battles

July Civil War battles

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

First Manassas (Bull Run) »

Malvern Hill »

Vicksburg »

Gettysburg »

Honey Springs »

Fort Wagner »

Monocacy »

Fort Stevens »

Tupelo »

The Crater »


Book of the Month

Storm Before Atlanta

The Storm Before Atlanta
By Karen Schwabach. New York: Random House, 2010.

Like most ten-year old boys who haven't "seen the elephant," Jeremy DeGroot has grand and noble images of the war and soldering. He wants nothing more than to be a drummer boy and to die for his country, like the Drummer boy of Shiloh. He practices marching and drumming with his friends but despite his desire to join up and fight for the Union, none of the recruiting offices in Syracuse would enlist him, so Jeremy takes matters into his own hands and he leaves Syracuse to go look for the war. In Washington, D.C. he meets up with the 107th New York -- a unit in need of a drummer boy -- and Jeremy fills the void. He can't believe his good fortune to be in Sherman's army, headed towards Georgia, the war, and glory. Along the way, Jeremy befriends Charlie, a young Confederate soldier not much older than him, and he rescues Dulcie, an escaped slave girl, who becomes the regimental doctor's assistant. Jeremy's noble but selfish ideas of heroism are put to the test. His messmates die in battle, he befriends the enemy despite the personal risk, and he witnesses destruction yet he remains loyal to the Union. Jeremy's adventures are more than a coming of age story; this is a multi-faceted novel that explores the reality of war for soldiers and civilians alike. The motivations of Civil War soldiers, whether they are fighting for emancipation, fighting for Union or fighting for a cause they no longer believe in, are interwoven with Jeremy and Dulcie's experiences, which offers readers a nuanced understanding of the war. Jeremy, Charlie, Dulcie and the 107th are characters with depth and personality and the dialog is natural and well written. The plot moves quickly and realistic battle descriptions, medical treatments and political background add authenticity. Schwabach did her homework; her research of the 107th and the experiences of an army on the march and in camp bring the Civil War to life for readers.

Purchase The Storm Before Atlanta »

See More Book Reviews »


Trivia from the Archives

Trivia from the Archives

Q. What role did Robert E. Lee play on the field at the Battle of Bull Run, the first major battle in his home state of Virginia?

Q. What celebrated 20th century author's great-grandfather led a regiment at the First Battle of Bull Run?

Answers from the Archives »


Civil War on the Web

  • NPR: 3-D ‘Motion Pictures' from the Civil War
    Unfortunately, these aren't motion pictures in the traditional sense, but they are an innovative and interesting way of viewing Civil War photographs in 3-D. This page brings still images to life and is a great teaching tool.
  • Lee Family Digital Archive
    Washington and Lee University has created a web archive of their substantial Lee Family holdings. Books, letters, essays and other miscellany are all made available and easily searchable.
  • Smithsonian.com Civil War Hub
    The Smithsonian website has compiled a page full of excellent teaching resources. Videos on topics as diverse as music and ballooning, articles on women spies and the history of Civil War commemoration, and regularly-added new content make this a website you'll want to check consistently over the course of the sesquicentennial.

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