Shared booklist

HS Civil War Sources

These sources represent a diverse group of items that would enrich a HS study of the US Civil War.

13 items

American Abolitionists


Abolitionists often risked their lives to protest slavery. This is another lesson plan that includes powerful primary sources with samples of runaway slave advertisements

Library of Congress: Civil War Images


This is a wonderful collection of resources available from the Library of Congress with searchable, digitized images. It consists of mostly photographs but also includes drawings and prints.

As the War Turns


This lesson will focus on such captivating topics, beginning with an interactive warm up in which students learn about the effects of yellow fever during the period of Civil War. Afterwards, students will begin their exploration of Civil War “drama” by reading about bioterrorist plots involving diseases such as yellow fever, as well as other attempts of terrorism during this time.

African American Troops in the Civil War


This online resource, published by University of North Carolina, has relevant primary sources, like an article written by Frederick Douglass in 1861, as well as lesson plans and suggested activities for teachers. It’s important to provide multiple points of view within the unit.

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database


This is an online database with information about the soldiers who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. It also includes links to descriptions of significant battles, and some prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records.

Songs of the Confederacy.

Edited and arranged by Henry S. Humphreys for unison - two part - four part chorus with piano accompaniment. |

Continuing with the theme of having students experience the Civil War in more immersive ways than reading about it, this is some printed music that students could actually try to play (or sing) as a way to getting deeper into the study.

Experiencing the American Civil War

Kevin Hillstrom and Laurie Collier Hillstrom ; Lawrence W. Baker, editor. |

The Civil War.

a production of Florentine Films and WETA-TV ; producers, Ken Burns and Ric Burns ; writers, Geoffrey C. Ward, Ric Burns and Ken Burns ; director, Ken Burns. |

This epic DVD set brings to life the events and important players in the Civil War. Students might not be able to view all of it in class, but selected pieces would really enhance the classroom study!

Ken Burns Webinar


This hour-long webinar is viewable online and helps to shed light on Ken Burns’ famous Civil War documentary. I think it helps for students to see adults’ sincere interest in history—it doesn’t need to be something you just learn in school because you have to. He also demonstrates his passion for storytelling and photography, which also may inspire students.

The history atlas of North America

Philip John Davies ... [et al.] ; foreword by Mark C. Carnes. |

It’s useful for students to see where the different battles occurred and to view that visually, on a map. They may be especially amazed to see places near where they live!

Liar, temptress, soldier, spy

Karen Abbott. |

This book tells the story of four women, all spies, who played different roles in the Civil War. These stories have not been told before and add an entirely different perspective, one usually left out of the traditional narratives.

The Civil War

Catherine Clinton. |

This book traces the course of the Civil War, year by year, using profiles of important people, eyewitness accounts, and period art. Again, I think it’s important to have visual aspects to history books, to help bring them to life! In addition, the eyewitness accounts will support Common Core work around point of view (as well as providing authentic primary sources).

Civil War

Aaron R. Murray, editor. |

n this guide to the events and leading figures of the War Between the States, readers will find a wealth of images, from pictures of artifacts to portraits and battlefield paintings and maps, as well as rich detail about each battle. DK publishing books tend to appeal to students, especially struggling readers, and the imagery adds an interesting component and can help visual learners.