Activities and History
The Underground Railroad
Explanation of “Follow the Drinking Gourd”
The first verse of this song tells slaves to leave in the winter and walk towards the Drinking Gourd. Eventually they will meet a guide who will escort them for the remainder of the trip.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture
The original texts and lesson plans and guidelines for learning about this book some say ignited the Civil War.
You are a slave. Your body, your time, your very breath belong to a farmer in 1850s Maryland. Six long days a week you tend his fields and make him rich. You have never tasted freedom. You never expect to. And yet . . . your soul lights up when you hear whispers of attempted escape. Freedom means a hard, dangerous trek. Do you try it?
Abraham Lincoln Research Site
I am not an author or an historian; rather I am a former American history teacher who enjoys researching Abraham Lincoln’s life and accomplishments.
Abraham Lincoln’s Classroom
Interesting personal stories about Abe Lincoln that kids will enjoy. Factual, though, from the Lincoln Institute.
Alice Williamson’s Civil War Diary
Wonder what it would have been like to have been 16 when the Union Army attacked?
American Civil War
Find out about the causes, the battles and the people that make this period of history a fascinating study.
American Civil War Recipes–Union Hardtack and Confederate Johnnie Cakes
Choices of what to give the troops was limited as they did not have the conveniences to preserve food like we have today.
The American Civil War
The Civil War was the culmination of four decades of intense sectional conflict and reflected deep-seated economic, social, and political differences between the North and the South. From the History Channel.
Battle of Gettysburg Information Center
Do you have questions on the Battle of Gettysburg and Adams County? Begin your journey to the answers here.
“Soldiering is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror” wrote one soldier to his wife. See what camp life was like on this page from Gettysburg National Memorial Park. Living Day to Day, and Battling Boredom.
Civil War for Kids
The students in Mrs. Huber’s class at Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, New York have been learning about the Civil War. They read about this important time in our nation’s history and wrote about it.
Civil War | PBS
Meet the men, women and children who fought and died in the War Between the States in this PBS documentary.
Civil War Re-Enactment
One way to learn about the Civil War is to join or visit a re-enactment association. This site has loads of information so that the members of this club can faithfully reproduce this era.
Civil War Slang
Become the chief cook and bottle washer, won’t you? Get snug as a bug and start toeing the mark.
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The Confederate Hunley
On February 17, 1864, the Confederate Hunley became the first submarine to destroy an enemy vessel in battle when it sank the Union sloop of war Housatonic outside Charleston harbor. The Hunley did not return from that mission and lay on the ocean bottom for 136 years until its recovery in August 2000.
Flags of the American Civil War
During the Civil War, flags were symbols of home, the nation and one’s fellow soldiers. Each regiment carried its own flags into battle.
Hymns & Spirituals
Thirteen songs are sung in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, all but one — the Latin hymn from Mozart’s Requiem that St. Clare sings — sung by slaves. All but one of those — the “rowdy song” that Legree demands the slaves sing on their way to his plantation — are religious.
Make a Civil War Drum
During the Civil War, boys under the age of 16 served in both the Union and Confederate (southern) armies. Most of them played the drum, fife or bugle.
Music of the 1860’s
“All history proves that music is as indispensable to warfare as money; and money has been called the sinews of war. Music is the soul of Mars….”
Selected Civil War Photographs
1,118 photographs. Most of the images were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady, and include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and battle after-effects.
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Shotgun’s Home of the American Civil War
From the blood soaked plains of Manassas, to the smoke filled skies of Atlanta, and finally to the tear filled eyes at Appomattox. For four of the bloodiest years in the history of this Republic the war raged. It started as Yanks and Rebs, it ended as “Americans!”
The Story of One Union Soldier
Private Bernard McKnight – Massachusetts 3rd Cavalry, 1838 – 1864. On September 3rd, 1862 at the age of 25, Barney enlisted in the Union Army. Most likely he was motivated by the two hundred dollar bounty payments made by the wealthy to encourage poor immigrants to take the place of the rich in the draft.
Valley of the Shadow
An animated map where you can follow the regiment of your choice as they move from one battleground to the next.Read diaries and newspapers of the era. Locate photographs and official soldiers’ records.
With Lee in Virginia: a story of the American Civil War by G. A. Henty
George Alfred Henty wrote carefully researched, immensely popular children’s books about fictional youngsters who lived in critical periods of history. In this volume, he focuses on the Civil War, as seen through the eyes of a spirited teenager from the South, who staunchly supports the rights of slaves but joins Lee’s cavalry and fights for the Confederacy. Look inside. Listen to audible version. Available also in Kindle edition.