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2011 Civil War Trust Photo Contest Winners: High School Category

We received some truly outstanding entries to our Photo Contest in the High School category this year. The winner came to us from Josh Gutmaker, a freshman at Jamesville-DeWitt High School in New York, who captured this stunning image of the 73rd NY monument near the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg. He writes that, "My family and I are students... of the battlefield." Judges included Bob Zeller of the Center for Civil War Photography and Dr. Libby O'Connell of History™, as well as many senior Civil War Trust staffers. Take a moment to browse the fantastic photographs in the other categories, including Then and Now -- which can be an engaging visual learning device. We continue to believe, as did the great Civil War photographers, that images of our battlefields can help transport all of us, even those who are far away, to these historic places. We hope that these photos will inspire you to visit more Civil War battlefields during the 150th anniversary.

See all the best photos! »

From the Educators

September 2011
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

Thank you all for engaging the Civil War Trust on so many levels. We love hearing from you. Our three traveling trunks are already booked for the year and are making their way to classrooms across the country. Thousands of you visit our education pages regularly; we are sending out 3D glasses and hard copies of our Civil War Curriculum every week; your students are sending us written works for our essay contest and many of you are signed up for our upcoming teacher institute in Boston.

Your efforts either directly or indirectly support our main mission--battlefield preservation. While we hope that you all support us financially however you are able, your work in the classroom fosters interest and understanding in countless young people, which leads to caring about our battlefields... which leads to support of preservation. That is our ultimate goal and we want ever more teachers involved. Please encourage your colleagues to sign up for our education e-newsletter. Help us get 1,000 more teachers on this email list!

Below, please find just a few of our latest offerings. Take the quiz, secure some new classroom resources, learn about a variety of Civil War topics and check out some great, new photos. Thanks again for your support of all kinds.

Sincerely,

Garry Adelman, Director of History and Education

 
 

Name That Battlefield Quiz

NTB2

Check out the newest quiz produced by the Civil War Trust, testing your knowledge of battlefield landmarks.

Take the Quiz »

 

Back-to-School Checklist

Back-to-School Checklist

Take a look at this essential checklist for anyone teaching the Civil War this school year. We've compiled the best of our education resources into one simple page. Perfect for teachers planning a Civil War unit.

Consult the checklist »

 

Adam Goodheart Interview

Goodheart

Check out the Civil War Trust's interview with Adam Goodheart, author of the new book 1861: The Civil War Awakening. Goodheart is also one of the chief contributors to the New York Times' ongoing blog Disunion, and is one of the foremost authorities on the secession crisis and the early days of the Civil War. His interview is full of interesting anecdotes, and an excellent read in and of itself.

Read the Interview »

 

New book on New Market Heights

New Market Heights

Check out our interview with Jimmy Price, author of a new account of the Battle of New Market Heights.

Read the interview »

 

September Civil War Battles

September Civil War 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:

Chantilly »

Harpers Ferry »

Munfordville »

South Mountain »

Antietam »

Iuka »

Chickamauga »

Third Winchester »

Fisher's Hill »

 

Book of the Month

Will at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863

Will at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863
By Laurie Calkhoven. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 2011.

In late July 1863, Gettysburg citizen Jennie McCreary wrote to her sister "We never expected a battle." The citizens of Gettysburg had heard rumors off and on for several years that the Confederate Army was heading their way, but the rumors always proved to be false. But one day in June 1863 the rumors became reality when Confederate cavalry rode into town with guns blazing, demanding money, food and supplies. The experiences of citizens during the Battle of Gettysburg, both children and adults, are well-documented. The eyewitness testimony of two of those children, Tillie Pierce and Daniel Skelly, provide the factual basis of this fictional account of a young boy whose town is invaded and becomes the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Twelve-year old Will Edmonds, like many young boys, wants to be a drummer boy. His older brother had enlisted, as did his father, leaving Will at home in Gettysburg with his mother, bossy older sister and younger twin sisters on that June day when the Confederates paid them a visit. A rash decision to help black citizens who were captured by the Confederates lands Will in a jam with Confederate soldiers. Abel Hoke, a Confederate drummer boy from Tennessee, rescues Will and earns an invitation to dinner before his regiment moves out of town. Will and Abel cross paths again when Abel returns to Gettysburg with the rest of Lee's army several days later. During the battle in the town, Will admits that instead of fighting, he would rather "curl up in the basement...and hide," yet he knows that he has to do his part for the Union, no matter how afraid he is. Will courageously smuggles an aide to General Meade through Confederate picket lines, with unexpected help from Abel. When they next meet, it is Abel who needs Will's help to survive a horrific injury and Will puts his life on the line to save the friend who should be an enemy. The gruesome reality of war forces Will to realize that some causes are worth fighting for but that, "the shooting and dying was the work of men, not boys."

Although there are descriptive battle scenes, this is not the story of armies but of civilians -- including children -- trapped between and behind the lines of battle, and sometimes on the front lines; civilians who fought their own battle to survive without guns and bullets and who offered aid and comfort where they could. Skelly and Pierce's eyewitness accounts give authenticity to Will's experiences -- one of the strong points of the narrative. The friendship between two young boys, one a soldier and one a civilian, both believing in their cause, is genuine. Will's story, his descriptions of the town of Gettysburg and its citizens during the "days of turmoil" is a satisfying page turner for young readers. Also included are historical notes on the battle, short biographies on major historical figures, a timeline of the Civil War, as well as a glossary and information for further reading. Note: a typo identifies Abel Hoke as belonging to the 10th Tennessee regiment, which did not see duty at Gettysburg. This will be corrected in future editions. Recommended for Grades 4 through 8.

Purchase Will at the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 »

See More Book Reviews »

 

Trivia from the Archives

Trivia from the Archives

Q. In his Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, Jefferson Davis wrote of a battle in Missouri: "General Price ordered a number of bales of hemp to be transported to the point from which the advance of his troops had been repeatedly repulsed. They were ranged in a line for a breastwork, and, when rolled before the men as they advanced, formed a moving rampart which was proof against shot... [It] was a brilliant conception, not unlike that which made Tarik, the Saracen warrior, immortal, and gave his name to the northern pillar of Hercules." At which September battle was this unorthodox strategy implemented?

Q. In September, 1862, Gen. George McClellan declared: "Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home." To what 'paper' does he refer, and how did it come into his possession?

Answers from the Archives »

 

Civil War on the Web

  • Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names
    The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has launched an online and searchable database that will help people from all over the world learn about their ancestry. Titled "Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names," the free service will be an ever-updating catalog that will feature a sizable portion of the over 8 million records in VHS archives. "This service will be of tremendous value to scholars, genealogists and the general public," says Dr. Katherine Bassard, Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Compare Two Worlds: North v. South
    A fascinating, illustrative and easy-to-navigate map of the United States at the time of the Civil War. This map clearly demonstrates differences between the North and South in population and economy, and is part of a larger interactive exhibition created by Scholastic, designed specifically for teachers, about the Underground Railroad.
  • The Valley of the Shadow
    On this tremendous website, 'The Valley Project' focuses on life in two communities of the Shenandoah Valley, one Northern and one Southern, from the time of John Brown's raid through Reconstruction. It is a digital archive, giving the visitor access to letters, diaries, newspapers, speeches, census and church records left by the citizens of Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania. It is a fabulous teaching resource which brings two relatively unexceptional communities to life during the most extraordinary time in our history.
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