Educator resources about solider life during the American Civil War.

Historic Draft letter with a lot of crossed out corrections

Examines Robert E. Lee’s decision to resign by utilizing a draft copy of his resignation letter to General Winfield Scott.

Paper wrapped charge with hand-written ink inscription: “Carried onto the field at the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.”

This lesson includes images of items picked up from the field after the battle of First Manasses/Bull Run. Images include a cartridge, a homemade uniform jacket, a toothbrush a watch chain, a map, and several pipes. The lesson includes an artifact cataloging chart.

Scan of a diary entry from the Battle of Bull Run

Uses the diaries of two soldiers to examine the experiences of soldiers during this first battle.

This is a colorized historic photo of a United States Colored Troop Soldier

Examines the role and experiences of the USCTs.

A piece of paper with a cyphered message accompanied by a small glass bottle

Examines the toll the siege of Vicksburg took on civilians.

Examines the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of a Confederate soldier Edward Estes.

Historic print of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Troops charging a Confederate troop into battle

Explore the various ways African American people–enslaved and free, forced or by choice–contributed to the war effort. Using images and letters, delve into the lives of real people who were part of the Civil War.

The lesson plan focuses on the politically charged farewell messages within the book, and implements a timeline to explain how tense the political climate was through McNeel’s college years.
via Smithsonian National Museum of American History

People studying historical artifacts.

Students are encouraged through the photographs to understand how 1860’s Americans viewed the Civil War, and are asked to make statements about their own feelings and emotions related to the photographs.
via Smithsonian National Museum of American Art and Portraiture

People studying historical artifacts.

This lesson plan covers the Reconstruction period with three artworks. It also includes a short introduction to different Reconstruction plans from three different political viewpoints.
via Smithsonian National Museum of American Art and Portraiture