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Fredericksburg 360

If you couldn't make it to Fredericksburg for the 150th Anniversary, but want to visit the battlefield, try out the Civil War Trust's new virtual battlefield tour! Fredericksburg 360 is the second installment in a series of interactive applications that allow users to step into a three-dimensional Civil War battlefield. The tour bridges past and present with a combination of modern and historic images that show the battlefield then and now.

Explore the battlefield »

From the Educators

December 2012
Dear Civil War Educator and Preservationist,

As you can see in our new Winter Encampments piece, soldiers often slowed down to a duller routine in the winter months, but we at the Civil War Trust have no such plans. After a brief holiday break, we'll be right back to the satisfying work of saving battlefields and helping teachers teach the Civil War in their classrooms.
There are several new and existing tools available including our new Fredericksburg 360 teacher's guide. Field trips can be expensive and difficult, and in many cases downright impossible! Bring Fredericksburg to your classroom using our new 360 panorama; I am sure your students will love it!

You can also resolve in the New Year to check out our existing resources like the Civil War Curriculum, lesson plans, primary source collections, biographies, and don't forget our most basic page of all-Civil War Facts. Whether you and your students want something new or just want to brush up, keep checking out www.civilwar.org for all the latest scholarship and tools.
Happiest Holidays!

Garry Adelman
Director of History and Education


Fredericksburg 360 Educator's Guide

360 Educator's Guide The Civil War Trust has just released an Educators Guide to accompany the Fredericksburg 360 application. Take a look for ideas on how your class can experience the Fredericksburg battlefield.

Check out the lesson plan


Winter Encampments

Winter Encampments See how soldiers made it through the season at our new Winter Encampments page. Through the words of the soldiers discover how they built winter lodgings, how they kept busy, and the dangers they faced in the winter months.

Visit the page »


Stones River

Stones River Curious about the battle that decided the fate of middle Tennessee? Visit the Stones River Battlefield page to see pictures, maps, articles, and more.



Learn More »


Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation 150 years ago on January 1, about three months after he issued the preliminary proclamation, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law. Two years later, on January 31, 1865, emancipation was enshrined in our government in the 13th Amendment.


Visit the Emancipation Proclamation page »

Read the 13th Amendment »


Book of the Month

Book of the Month

The Horrors of Andersonville: life and death inside a Civil War Prison
Catherine Gourley
New York: Twenty First Century Books, 2010.

Andersonville is renowned as a deadly prisoner of war camp and its commander, reviled and hated, was hung for war crimes. Gourley's two years of meticulous research digs below the surface of Andersonville's notorious reputation. As she notes, the story of Andersonville "could not be reduced to a simple narrative", for history is much more complicated than that. Her investigation centers on what really happened inside the camp and questions the fairness and legality of a military tribunal that charged Captain Henry Wirz, Andersonville's commandant, with malicious conspiracy and murder. Before beginning the narrative, Gourley introduces a "cast of characters", which personalizes the experiences of the Union and Confederate soldiers who are the focus of her investigation. The prologue immediately captures the reader's attention by describing the capture of John Ransom, one of Andersonville's inmates. In Part 1, Gourley describes the status of prisoner of war camps in the Confederacy, using Ransom's dairy to provide insight into the over-crowded conditions of camps in Richmond and the necessity to build a larger camp in a more remote location further south. The selection of Americus, the logistics of prisoner transfer, and the despicable conditions are detailed, but what makes this examination of Andersonville hit home are the examples of suffering and heroism and the will to survive that took place inside the stockade. The Confederacy's lack of attention to providing basic necessities of food and shelter, despite Wirz's requests, and the Union's refusal to accept a release - not an exchange - of prisoners at Andersonville illustrates how the men in the camp were prisoners of politics in addition to being prisoners of war. Part II covers Wirz's court-martial and the epilogue revisits the cast of characters after the war. Sidebar texts provide additional information and original black and white photographs and sketches supplement the text. Gourley notes that the challenge facing a non-fiction writer is "to not only find information but to interpret it in a fair way." Her balanced presentation lets readers do just that. Highly recommended for grades 8 and up.

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 The Horrors of Andersonville »

See More Book Reviews »


Trivia from the Archives

Trivia from the Archives Q: What December battle featured the first significant urban combat in US military history?

Q: What American naval officer became the first admiral in the US Navy in July 1862?

Answers from the Archives »


Civil War on the Web

  • Fort Moultrie »
    This page provides an extensive history of For Moultrie, one of the strongholds that protected the city of Charleston during the Civil War. The site includes photos, maps, biographies, a glossary, and tons of other resources to help tell the fort's story.
  • The Pry House »
    Check out this blog by the National Museum for Civil War Medicine and see how they are covering the topic of Winter in the Civil War at the Pry House.
  • Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writer's Project »
    This Library of Congress collection of features photographs and thousands of first-person accounts from former slaves recorded in the 1930s.
  Help Save America's History

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