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Teaching Civics through Preservation

Get Involved. Get your class, history club, scout troop, or home school group involved with battlefield preservation. Using our materials, teach the history of the American Civil War and civic responsibility by working to save endangered battlefields across the country.

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From the Educators

November 2009
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

We are happy to introduce our new program, "Teaching Civics through Preservation." This program is designed to be a way for kids and teens to get involved in the preservation of Civil War battlefields using both advocacy and fundraising methods.

One lesson we want all children and young adults to learn is how to be active, informed citizens. This program offers some great ideas and resources to help them learn this lesson. Use the battle based lesson plans to teach about a battle where land is currently at risk. Read the success stories of those who have already gotten involved. Become a member and receive our publications to use as teaching tools.

Saving battlefield land is a great way to teach history, civics, economics, and government. We would love for you and your class, scout troop, history club, or junior historical society to join us in our mission. Please check out the program, let us know your thoughts, and keep us informed of your accomplishments.

- Nicole Osier, Senior Manager, Education Programs


2009 Contest Winners

2009 Poster Contest


This annual contest, co-sponsored by the Civil War Preservation Trust and The History Channel, encourages students of all ages to think critically and creatively about the importance of historic preservation. Students submit Civil War preservation themed posters and essays and compete for cash prizes. Teachers of winning students receive gift certificates to The History Channel’s online store. Selected essays are also featured in the Civil War Preservation Trust’s magazine, Hallowed Ground.

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2010 Teacher Institute Preparations Begin

Teacher Institute

(Hagerstown, Md.) - This summer elementary, middle and high school teachers from around the nation will converge in Hagerstown, Md. to take part in the Civil War Preservation Trust’s (CWPT) annual Teacher Institute. The three-day event will offer educators an opportunity to meet and discuss the successful tactics they employ in their classrooms, as well as participate in workshops and attend lectures by top historians.

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Battle of Fredericksburg: Using Maps to Study Battle History

Battle of Fredericksburg Animated Map

Use the Battle of Fredericksburg animated map to involve your students in the latest technology and make the learning process fun! Using this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the American Civil War through the study of The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia using mapping skills, technology, and primary sources.

View the Lesson Plans »


Trivia from the Archives

Trivia - Andersonville

A. The Confederacy established a prison camp for Union prisoners of war near Andersonville, Georgia in 1864. It is known today by the name of this small town- Andersonville. What was the camp’s official name?

B. As primary speaker at the ceremonies in Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, this person spoke for two hours after which Abraham Lincoln spoke for roughly two minutes. Recognizing the clarity with which he conveyed his message, the orator penned a letter to Lincoln complimenting him on the "eloquent simplicity & appropriateness" of his remarks, adding in open humility:

"I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

Who was the primary speaker at Gettysburg on the day Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address?

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Tuesday Trivia on Twitter with @CWPT_EDU »


Book of the Month

Annie, Between the States

Annie, Between the States

The Civil War has broken out and Annie Sinclair’s Virginia home, Hickory Heights, is right in the line of battle. Caught up in the rising conflict, Annie and her mother tend to wounded soldiers while Annie's older brother, Laurence, enlists in the Confederate cavalry under JEB Stuart. Even Annie's rambunctious baby brother, Jamie, joins John Mosby, the notorious "Gray Ghost." Faced with invading armies, Annie is compelled into a riskier role to protect her family and farm. She conceals Confederate soldiers and warns Southern commanders of Union traps, and the flamboyant JEB Stuart dubs her "Lady Liberty."

Annie's loyalty is clear until a wounded Union officer is dragged onto her porch. Saved from a bullet by a volume of Keat's poetry he keeps in his pocket, Thomas Walker startles Annie with his love of verse. After several chance encounters, Annie is surprised by her growing interest in the dark-eyed Northerner as they connect through a shared passion for poetry.

As the war rages on, Annie begins to question some of the values driving Virginia's involvement. Then tragedy befalls Hickory Heights, and Annie becomes the subject of a shocking accusation. She must confront the largest quandary of all: choosing her own course.

L. M. Elliott crafts a stirring novel that carries readers from the Manassas battlefield to fancy-dress balls to the burning of the Shenandoah Valley while capturing the tenacious spirit of a young heroine facing an extraordinary, complex time in American history.

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Civil War on the Web


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