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Civil War Trust Curriculum in a Haversack

Those of you who have attended a Civil War Trust Teacher Institute in the recent past have received a haversack, complete with a curriculum and a selection of great hands-on learning materials. Now, in time for the holiday season, you can purchase one for the teacher in your life (or yourself!) Click on the link to see further details of the haversack's inventory and how to order.

Order a Haversack »

From the Educators

December 2011
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the holiday season with your family and friends. We here at the Trust are busily wrapping up 2011 and looking forward to 2012.

As you may know last spring we completed and released The Civil War Curriculum, a ten-day standards-based, curriculum at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Each grade level includes nine lesson plans, complete with associated worksheets and presentation materials. This fall we decided to add a little more to our curriculum offerings and created the Curriculum in a Haversack.

The Curriculum in a Haversack includes a copy of the curriculum and an assortment of reproduction artifacts all put together in an awesome haversack. The artifacts are all aligned with the curriculum goals and can be used during your Civil War instruction for hands-on activities. We are excited to release this new resource for educators and are confident that it will prove to be an effective instructional tool.

On a personal note, I'm happy to be back to work at the Trust, it has been a busy few weeks, but a lot of fun. My son is doing very well; he is an incredibly happy baby who already loves to visit historic sites. Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes, we appreciated all of the support.

Happy Holidays!

Nicole Osier, Senior Manager, Education Programs


The Bucket 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!

See the Bucket List »


Los Angeles Regional Teacher Institute

LA Institute

The next Civil War Trust Regional Teacher Institute will be in Los Angeles February 25-26. The professional development is FREE, and teachers will be treated to, among other things, a tour of the General Phineas Banning Residence Museum and Drum Barracks Civil War Museum. Continuing Education Units are included!

Sign up for the Institute »


Christmas in the Civil War

Christmas Eve

Christmas was celebrated during the Civil War in much the same way it is today. Learn about the ways soldiers and families of the North and South observed the Christmas holiday, and read a moving poem by a Confederate soldier.

Learn more »


Students, Battle Apps, and Battlefields


See what happens when high school students, equipped with our Battle Apps, are cut loose on the Gettysburg battlefield.

Read More »


Our New USCT Hub


Learn about the important contributions that the United States Colored Troops made to the American Civil War. Articles, battles, book reviews, photos, and more.

Learn More »

December Civil War Battles

December 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:

Prairie Grove
Stones River


Book of the Month

No Man's Land

No Man's Land: A Young Soldier's Story
By Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Blue Sky Press: New York, 1999.

Fourteen year old Thrasher Magee believes that nothing he can do is good enough to please his father. When Thrasher's pap is attacked while gator hunting in the swamp, Thrasher blames himself for his father's injuries. He believes that if he hadn't panicked he could have come to his father's assistance. In order to prove his courage and manhood, both to himself and his father, Thrasher lies about his age and impulsively enlists in the Okefinokee Rifles, a company of the 26th Georgia Volunteer Infantry. His opportunity to show his manhood doesn't come until Gaines Mill. Until then, he drills, has picket duty and is on burial detail at Port Richmond, an experience that both saddens him and fuels his hatred of Yankees. Through Thrasher's experiences, Bartoletti captures the essence of camp life, from the betting on graybacks (aka "lice"), to whiskey watermelons and playing baseball with the Yankees during a truce.

The game, played on "no man's land" between the two camps, helps Thrasher to see the Yankees as people not unlike himself and not the demons he imagined. Much of the descriptions of camp life reflect the mundane daily activities but the antics of his friend Baylor and the secret of his friend Tim keep the reader involved. On the march to Gaines Mill, Thrasher privately doubts that he will have the courage to fight; he fears that he will run away in battle and will disappoint General Jackson, just as he is sure that he has disappointed his father. Thrasher fights honorably, is seriously injured and returns home to announce to his father that he "ain't a boy no more." The reunion with his family, and the letter he carries for Tim's family, who will never have a reunion, is bittersweet. Recommended for grades 4 to 7.

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 No Man's Land: A Young Soldier's Story »

See More Book Reviews »


Trivia from the Archives

Trivia from the Archives

Q. This battle, fought December 15-16, 1864, was the last massive battle of the Western theater.

Q. In 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman presented this city to President Lincoln as an early Christmas present.

Answers from the Archives »


Civil War on the Web

  • Shades of Blue and Gray: A Civil War Comparison
    This ongoing University of Missouri Press blog is dedicated to exploring the differences between the average Union and Confederate soldier through two books -- Your Brother in Arms: A Union Soldier's Odyssey by Robert C. Plumb and A Confederate Chronicle: The Life of a Civil War Survivor by Pamela Chase Hain.
  • NPS: Discover our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
    Creating national cemeteries became a necessity during the American Civil War in order for the United States military to respectfully bury the dead. These National Cemeteries have become national shrines, honoring the sacrifice and valor of the men and women who have served this country throughout its history. The National Park service produced this Civil War Era National Cemeteries: Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary, with maps and essays, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and remember those who served.

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