The American Civil War

The essays in this section have been written by leading scholars of American history. They provide additional depth on events and ideas referred to in the introductory essay and, in some cases, different interpretations by historians looking at the same events. These essays are particularly useful as informational texts to introduce your students to one of the most exciting aspects of studying history—understanding the past from a variety of perspectives.

Field Relief Work at Gettysburg

Author: Jane E. Schultz Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

How the Town Shaped the Battle: Gettysburg 1863

Author: Allen C. Guelzo Curriculum Subjects: Geography Grade Levels:
Walt Whitman, 1863 (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Lincoln and Whitman

Author: David S. Reynolds Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Photograph of Abraham Lincoln, November 1863. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

Author: Lewis E. Lehrman Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Lincoln’s “Flat Failure”: The Gettysburg Myth Revisited

Author: Harold Holzer Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Sharing a Civil War Photo with a Million People

Author: Garry E. Adelman Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels:

The Battle of Antietam: A Turning Point in the Civil War

Author: James M. McPherson Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The Relevance of Gettysburg

Author: D. Scott Hartwig Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Order to conscript Alabama slaves for the Confederate Army, 1864 (GLC06158.11)

The Riddles of “Confederate Emancipation”

Author: Bruce Levine Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Sojourner Truth, 1864. (GLC06391.20)

Women and the Home Front: New Civil War Scholarship

Author: Catherine Clinton Curriculum Subjects: Art, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Rebel prisoners at Gettysburg, [1863]. Photograph by Mathew Brady. (Gilder Lehrm

“The Brave Men, Living and Dead”: Common Soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg

Author: Robert Bonner Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Essays from Other Sub-Eras

Cover of Puck, November 25, 1903. (Library of Congress)

A History of the Thanksgiving Holiday

Author: Catherine Clinton Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Frederick Douglass, ca. 1880s. (GLC07926.02)

Allies for Emancipation? Black Abolitionists and Abraham Lincoln

Author: Manisha Sinha Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Frederick Douglass: From Slavery to Freedom

Author: Steven Mintz Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
"Colored Man Is No Slacker," WWI poster, 1918 (GLC06134)

From These Honored Dead: Memorial Day and Veterans Day in American History

Author: Kenneth T. Jackson Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865. (GLC06044)

Lincoln’s Civil Religion

Author: George C. Rable Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Abraham Lincoln, by Mathew Brady, February 27, 1860. (GLC05136.01)

Lincoln’s Religion

Author: Richard Carwardine Curriculum Subjects: Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Photograph of American Indians by William Hicks Jackson, 1871. (GLC03095.97)

The Civil War and Reconstruction in the American West

Author: Elliott West Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Emancipation Proclamation (Chicago: Rufus Blanchard, ca. 1863–64) (GLC05508.272)

The Emancipation Proclamation: Bill of Lading or Ticket to Freedom?

Author: Allen C. Guelzo Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Note of 1 shilling, 6 pence, printed in the colony of New Jersey, 1776. (GLC)

The US Banking System: Origin, Development, and Regulation

Author: Richard Sylla Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
George Ripley, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Elizabeth Peabody (LOC)

Transcendentalism and Social Reform

Author: Philip F. Gura Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
The County Election, based on a painting by George C. Bingham, 1854. (Gilder Leh

Winning the Vote: A History of Voting Rights

Author: Steven Mintz Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

“Your Late Lamented Husband”: A Letter from Frederick Douglass to Mary Todd Lincoln

Author: David W. Blight Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+