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U.S. Time Periods » 1850-1877: Civil War & Reconstruction

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Emancipation Proclamation Commemorative Coloring Book provides an overview of the history of the Emancipation Proclamation for children and coloring pages featuring Abraham Lincoln and notable African Americans, including Frederick...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves"...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
Abraham Lincoln Papers presents Lincoln's draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, his second inaugural address, an 1864 memo expressing his expectation of being defeated for re-election, and more than 70,000...  (Library of Congress)
Reconstruction: The Second Civil War provides clips from the documentary, as well as transcripts, a look behind the scenes, and a teacher's guide. Among the featured topics: 40 acres and a mule, plantations in ruins...  (WGBH, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
Ulysses S. Grant provides insights into U.S. history topics -- frontier life, westward expansion, the Mexican-American War, military strategy, slavery, abolition, race relations, Reconstruction, black...  (WGBH, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
The Siege and Battle of Corinth: A New Kind of War tells the story of two Civil War engagements near Corinth, a small Mississippi town established in the 1850s where two railroads crossed. On October 2, 1862, Confederates attacked...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
CivilWar@ Smithsonian examines the Civil War through collections of artifacts. Topics include slavery and abolition, Abraham Lincoln, the first Union officer killed, soldiering, weapons, leaders...  (Smithsonian Institution)
The Time of the Lincolns a companion website to the film Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided, examines the context and conflicts surrounding the Civil War. Topics include the partisan politics of the...  (PBS, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
Mathew Brady Portraits survey the life and work of this pioneering photojournalist and portraitist best known for his photographs of the Civil War. Visitors can read about Brady's contributions toward...  (National Portrait Gallery, supported by Smithsonian Institution)
Gettysburg Battlefield -- Virtual Tour describes with photos and text the three-day battle that marked the turning point in the Civil War. The site gives detailed descriptions of each day of the battle and further texts...  (National Park Service)
Manassas Battlefield History recounts two Civil War battles fought in Manassas, Virginia. The first battle marked the first clash of the Northern and Southern armies. As the battle approached, enthusiastic young...  (National Park Service)
Our Documents features 100 milestone documents in U.S. history. Each week, the website highlights 3 documents. Speeches, treaties, Supreme Court cases, patent designs, and Constitutional...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
History Matters is a gateway to web resources and threaded discussions for high school and college teachers of U.S. history survey courses. It presents first-person narratives about the experiences of...  (George Mason University, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
The Valley of the Shadow Project follows two communities, one Northern and one Southern, through their experiences in the American Civil War. This hypermedia archive contains thousands of sources from before, during...  (University of Virginia, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
The Gettysburg Address contains images and transcriptions of the various drafts of the famous document as well as translations into 28 languages...  (Library of Congress)
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873 includes documents from the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and ratification debates, and the first two federal congresses. These documents record American history...  (Library of Congress)
First Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920 documents the culture of the 19th century American South from the viewpoint of Southerners. It includes diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, ex-slave narratives, and travel accounts of...  (Library of Congress)
Selected Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865 contains more than 1,100 photographs, most of which were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady. The collection includes scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle...  (Library of Congress)
Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, 1820-1910 portrays the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin from the 17th to the early 20th century through first-person accounts, biographies, promotional literature, local histories...  (Library of Congress)
Andersonville: Prisoner of War Camp examines the conditions of Camp Sumter (in Andersonville, Georgia), the largest and most notorious of prisoner of war camps during the Civil War...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War features a timeline of America's wars, from the Revolution to Iraq. Watch an interactive presentation on each war -- slideshows and movies, text and photos, and dozens of artifacts...  (National Museum of American History, supported by Smithsonian Institution)
A Civil War Soldier in the Wildcat Regiment documents the Civil War experience of this captain in the 105th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. More than 350 images of correspondence, photos, and other materials are provided...  (Library of Congress)
From Slavery to Freedom, 1824-1909 presents nearly 400 pamphlets written by African-Americans and others about slavery, emancipation, African colonization, Reconstruction, and related topics. Materials range from...  (Library of Congress)
Lincoln/Net presents writings, speeches, and materials from Abraham Lincoln's years in Illinois (1830-1861). Biographical materials look at Lincoln's boyhood, Indian wars, the Whig Party, the...  (Northern Illinois University, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
The E Pluribus Unum Project examines Americans' attempt to make "one from many" in three pivotal decades: the 1770s, 1850s, and 1920s. Each decade is framed by an introductory essay with links to key topics and...  (Assumption College, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
The Nineteenth Century in Print: the Making of America in Books and Periodicals presents digitized books and periodicals published in the U.S. during the 19th century. The collection includes 23 popular magazines and more than 1,500 books that illuminate themes...  (Library of Congress)
American Notes: Travels in America, 1750-1920 provides 253 narratives describing travels in the colonies and U.S. The collection includes works by authors not widely known as well as by Matthew Arnold, James Fenimore Cooper...  (Library of Congress)
Civil War Treasures from the New York Historical Society offers materials for teaching about the Civil War. It includes recruitment posters, sketches, photos, a prison camp newspaper, and letters Walt Whitman wrote to wounded servicemen...  (Library of Congress)
Portraits of Named Enlisted Civil War Men presents portrait photos of more than 50 Civil War soldiers with the rank of private, corporal or sergeant...  (Library of Congress)
Lincoln Home National Historic Site: A Place of Growth and Memory recounts the life of our 16th president. See photos of the house in Springfield, Illinois, that Abraham Lincoln, his wife, and family occupied for 17 years. Read news accounts of his...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission 2009 celebrates the upcoming 200th birthday of our 16th president. A timeline, key speeches, and links to organizations dedicated to the study of Lincoln are provided. Lesson plans (in the...  (Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission)
African American History Month features more than 60 resources related to African American history. See photos and historic places from the civil rights movement. Learn about Frederick Douglass, the Harlem...  (Department of Education)
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is a database of over 6 million soldiers and sailors who served on both sides of the Civil War. Search by name, state, unit, or function. See descriptions of 384 significant battles...  (National Park Service)
TeachingHistory.org provides lessons, teaching guides, best practices, and other resources for teaching history. See videos on "what is historical thinking," teaching history in elementary school, and...  (TeachingHistory.org, supported by Department of Education)
Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 presents over 100 books and pamphlets on experiences of African and African-American slaves in American colonies and U.S. The documents, published between 1772 and 1889, include trial...  (Library of Congress)
Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877) provides documents and images for learning about "fugitive from labor" cases and black soldiers in the Civil War. The site includes Civil War photos by Mathew Brady and letters...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
Glorieta and Raton Passes: Gateways to the Southwest examines the role of these two passes in ensuring that the Southwest would become and remain part of the U.S. Learn about traders and armies that depended on the passes, which were...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Nineteenth-Century America in Art and Literature presents documents paired with 7 paintings, including Mahantango Valley Farm, Jolly Flatboatmen, and White Cloud, Head Chief of the Iowas. These...  (National Gallery of Art)
The Homestead Act of 1862 recounts efforts to improve homesteading laws and make land ownership possible for more settlers. The distribution of government lands had been an issue since the Revolutionary War...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
First Battle of Manassas: An End to Innocence looks at the first conflict of the Civil War, the battle of Bull Run. More than 5,000 people perished -- Northern and Southern troops, as well as private citizens who came from...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Clara Barton's House: Home of the American Red Cross is a curriculum-oriented guide to the life of the famous nurse. The site uses photographs, floor plans, and the like about her home in Glen Echo, Maryland as a focal point but gives...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Choices and Commitments: The Soldiers at Gettysburg aims to help students understand the Gettysburg Campaign and the major actions of the armies during each day of the battle, as well as the motives and experiences of several...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Adeline Hornbek and the Homestead Act: A Colorado Success Story explores how Adeline Hornbek, single mother of four, defied traditional gender roles to become the owner of a successful ranch under the Homestead Act...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
American Visionaries: Frederick Douglass features items owned by the famous abolitionist, human rights and women's rights activist, orator, author, journalist, publisher, and social reformer. The site consists of enlargeable...  (National Park Service)
Symbols in Battle: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections is a collection of historic battle flags that were carried by Southern and Northern military units during the Civil War. The site describes how these flags were designed to identify...  (National Park Service)
Camp Life: Civil War Collections from Gettysburg features photographs and text from three exhibits: living in a camp, existing day to day, and battling boredom...  (National Park Service)
America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864 consists of more than 650 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection. The collection...  (Library of Congress)
Railroad Maps of North America offers progress report surveys for individual railroad lines, official government surveys, promotional maps, maps showing land grants and rights-of-way, and route guides published by...  (Library of Congress)
The Learning Page helps teachers use the Library of Congress's "American Memory" website to teach U.S. history and culture. It includes suggestions for using photos, objects, life histories and other...  (Library of Congress)
African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907 presents a review of African-American history and culture as seen through the practice of pamphleteering. The site includes sermons on racial pride and essays on segregation, voting...  (Library of Congress)
Prairie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family Letter illustrates the story of settlement on the Great Plains. Family letters of one homesteader express personal insight into the joy, despair, and determination in his struggle to...  (Library of Congress)
America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets provides "song sheets" (lyrics without music) for 4000 songs that were popular before the advent of the phonograph and radio. During this time (1850 - 1870), song sheets were the way...  (Library of Congress)
Fort Pickens and the Outbreak of the Civil War recounts what happened in the Pensacola Bay just before the Civil War. U.S. Army Lieutenant Adam Slemmer knew his 51 troops could not defend all four of their forts if Southern troops...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Battle of Mill Springs: The Civil War Divides a Border State focuses on a key Civil War battle to demonstrate how both the Union and the Confederacy attempted to win the loyalty of the citizens of Kentucky. The site presents maps, readings from...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867 recounts the personal experiences and the drama of emancipation in the words of the participants: liberated slaves and defeated slaveholders, soldiers and civilians, common folk and...  (University of Maryland, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady asks students to visualize the Civil War by studying dozens of period photographs, and illustrates how the Civil War threatened the very purpose of the Constitution as stated in the...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
Letters, Telegrams, and Photographs Illustrating Factors That Affected the Civil War allows students to analyze a variety of documents to identify events, actions, and individuals who contributed to the Civil War's outcome. This lesson correlates to the National...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
These Honored Dead: The Battle of Rivers Bridge and Civil War Combat Casualties recounts a battle in a cold, rainy swamp in South Carolina during the last year of the war. In contrast to major campaigns and battles, this small battle presents the war on a human...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Battle of Glorieta Pass: A Shattered Dream examines a Civil War battle known as the "Gettysburg of the West." Texans invaded this mountain valley, intent on conquering New Mexico. Victory here would be a necessary prelude to...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
The Battle of Prairie Grove: Civilian Recollections of the Civil War helps students place the Battle of Prairie Grove in the context of Arkansas' role in the Civil War. Photos and readings from eye witness accounts of the battle depict the harsh...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Battle of Stones River: The Soldiers' Story provides readings, maps, and visual representations of this battle near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which was the second bloodiest battle fought west of the Appalachians during the Civil...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Campaign for Vicksburg, 1863 describes the effort of the Union Army of Tennessee to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi. Taking Vicksburg was the key to ending the Civil War. It was the key to regaining control of...  (National Park Service)
Africans in America is an online companion to the four-part PBS series, covering the period 1450 to 1865. There are historical narratives, resource banks of images, documents, stories, biographies...  (WGBH, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
Chatham Plantation: Witness to the Civil War recounts what happened at this plantation overlooking Fredericksburg, Virginia. The house served as a headquarters and communications center for generals and commanders. When General...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
The Amana Colonies looks at the historic utopian society established in the 1850s along the Iowa River by German-speaking settlers from a religious group known as the Community of True Inspiration. The...  (National Park Service)
Waterford, Virginia: From Mill Town to National Historic Landmark tells the story of a village west of Washington, D.C. In 1733, Amos Janney purchased 400 acres along Catoctin Creek and built a mill for grinding flour and sawing wood. As fellow...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Band Music from the Civil War Era provides examples of brass band music that flourished in the U.S. during the 1850s and remained popular through the 19th century. It includes 700 musical compositions, 8 full-score...  (Library of Congress)
Civil War Archeology: Investigating the Battles of Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge examines archeological techniques used to explore these two battle sites. These battles, fought in Missouri and Arkansas in 1861 and 1862, helped keep Missouri in the Union and set...  (Midwest Archeological Center, supported by National Park Service)
The Civil War through a Child's Eye is a lesson plan that uses historical fiction and primary sources to expand students' perceptions of the Civil War era. Photos, non-fiction, and literature (Paul Fleischman's "Bull...  (Library of Congress)
From Slavery to Civil Rights is a timeline of African-American history. Photos, broadsides, maps, and other items are organized around time periods: slavery, abolition, antebellum, Civil War, reconstruction...  (Library of Congress)
Battle of Honey Springs: The Civil War Comes to the Indian Territory illustrates how the war, when it moved to the rolling prairie of now eastern Oklahoma, divided Native Americans. It includes maps, soldiers' accounts of the battle, and illustrations...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Fugitive from Labor Cases: Henry Garnett and Moses Honner encourages students to analyze historic documents related to two fugitive slave cases and determine the impact events of the period 1850 to 1860 had on them. The Henry Garnett and...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
Lincoln's Spot Resolutions provides background information and lessons (correlated to academic standards) that incorporate the use of textbooks, maps, and discussions based on primary documents such as the U.S...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War provides a lesson that uses primary documents such as the Emancipation Proclamation. This lesson correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
Affidavit and Flyers from the Chinese Boycott Case introduces students to one instance in which immigrants overcame the ramifications of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 through the U.S. judicial system. This lesson correlates to the...  (National Archives and Records Administration)
Fort Morgan and the Battle of Mobile Bay presents firsthand accounts, maps, and more pertaining to this Civil War conflict (August 5, 1864) in which Union Admiral David Farragut led about 20 ships and vessels into the...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Santa Clara County, California's Historic Silicon Valley features 28 historic places that illustrate how this fertile valley blossomed from small agricultural towns linked by railroad into a center of technological innovation. Located south...  (National Park Service)
Petersburg National Battlefield -- Education gives materials for different grade levels to prepare students for field trips to the site of an important Civil War battle south of Richmond, VA. This resource guide is based upon...  (National Park Service)
American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920 contains approximately 2,800 photographs, plans, maps, and models of American buildings and landscapes built during this period. The collection offers views of cities, buildings...  (Library of Congress)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Papers Project Online is an effort to locate and make available all of surviving manuscripts and printed texts from this 52-year friendship based on a mutual commitment to establish "perfect political...  (Rutgers University, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
The Mathew Brady Bunch: Civil War Newspapers offers 1000 annotated photographs ranging from portraits to battle scenes. Students become reporters, assigned to sort through photos to find one that will bring the war to life for...  (Library of Congress)
Photojournalism: A Record of War explores how and why war has been photographed and affords students an opportunity to see bias within war reporting. In addition to analyzing war photographs, students learn about...  (Library of Congress)
Nile of the New World: Lower Mississippi River Valley features stories and resources to help students learn about the heritage of this diverse region. Stories form a picture of the Delta's natural, historic, and cultural resources, and...  (National Park Service)
Journey Through Hallowed Ground: Travel through Virginia's Piedmont visits 65 historic places along 75 miles of Route 15 in Virginia's Piedmont. Stops include homes of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe; sites of some of the bloodiest battles in the...  (National Park Service)
The Battle of Bentonville: Caring for Casualties of the Civil War shows how battlefield medical care developed during the Civil War, particularly in the Union Army...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Siege of Port Hudson: Forty Days and Nights in the Wilderness of Death describes the struggle for control of the vital Mississippi River during the Civil War. It discusses the tactics, theories, and ramifications of this battle between the North and the...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
When Rice Was King concentrates on Georgetown County, South Carolina, where rice, rather than cotton, was the principal commercial product. The site contains maps, readings, photos, drawings, as well as...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Civil War Maps features detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for General Lee and General Sherman, and maps taken from diaries, scrapbooks, and manuscripts -- all available for the...  (Library of Congress)
Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery tells the story of Camp Chase, one of the largest prisoner-of-war camps for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Located on the western outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, the camp --...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
One Life: The Mask of Lincoln celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of one of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), with an online exhibit of 30 portraits aimed "to show the changing face that...  (National Portrait Gallery, supported by Smithsonian Institution)
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site: Home of a Gilded Age Icon looks at this place in western New Hampshire where the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens established a summer home and studio (1885), conceived a host of projects, became the leader of...  (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)
Puerto Rico at the Dawn of the Modern Age, 1831-1929 portrays the early history of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico through first-person accounts, political writings, and histories drawn from the Library of Congress's general collections...  (Library of Congress)
We'll Sing to Abe Our Song!: Sheet Music about Lincoln, Emancipation, and the Civil War includes more than 200 sheet-music compositions about Abraham Lincoln and the war. This collection spans the years from Lincoln's presidential campaign in 1859 through the centenary of...  (Library of Congress)
Small-Town America, 1850-1920 presents 12,000 photographs of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from the 1850s to the 1910s from a collection at the New York Public Library. The views show natural landscapes as...  (Library of Congress)
The African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920 explores the diversity and complexity of African-American culture in Ohio. These manuscripts, texts, and images focus on themes that include slavery, emancipation, abolition, the...  (Library of Congress)
Griffith in Context: A Multimedia Exploration Analysis of D.W. Griffith's Birth of A Nation, Georgia provides an overview of a CD-ROM designed to make this film's cultural and cinematic impact tangible...  (Georgia Institute of Technology, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
Educator's Guide, Vicksburg National Military Park is a guide for teachers taking their students to the site of the important Civil War campaign. The guide brings to bear the viewpoints of the arts, language arts, mathematics, science...  (National Park Service)
Saint Gaudens' Memorial to Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment focuses on the powerful memorial created to honor one of the first African-American units of the Civil War. Six sections of in-depth material explore the artist and his working...  (National Gallery of Art)
The Shaw Memorial focuses on the powerful memorial created by Saint-Gaudens to honor one of the first African-American units of the Civil War. Six sections of in-depth material explore the artist and...  (National Gallery of Art)
The Lincoln Legal Papers documents Lincoln's active and successful professional life as a lawyer before he moved to Washington, D.C. in 1861. The site's editors will select, annotate, and transcribe material...  (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, supported by National Endowment for the Humanities)
Reservation Controversies: Then and Now is built around two scenarios that help students understand issues related to American Indian reservations. Under one scenario, set in 1973, the student plays the role of agent for a...  (Library of Congress)

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