October 18, 2017

Primary Source Learning: Civil War & Reconstruction Primary Source Set

Scott's great snake
Have students use the primary sources in this set to tell a story about a timeframe from the period 1861-1877 when the United States was wracked by civil war, fighting to preserve the Union and end slavery. This costly war (recent research puts the death toll at 750,000) raged for four years but putting the country back together took much longer. The story may focus on either aspect of this time period and may be in digital or print form. It could be nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or even a song. Click on each thumbnail image below to access the full size primary source. You may also use this primary set for a found poetry activity (click the previous link). Be sure to take a look at the Civil War & Reconstruction timeline as well as associated lesson plans (see below) and more Civil War resources.

6-pdr. field gun

6-pdr. field gun

Scott's great snake

Scott’s great snake

The battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1863

The battlefield of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd and 3rd 1863

Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry

Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry

Zouave ambulance crew demonstrating removal of wounded

Zouave ambulance crew – removal of wounded

Officers of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry playing cards

Officers of 114th Pennsylvania Infantry playing cards

Alexandria, Va. Soldiers' Cemetery

Alexandria, Va. Soldiers’ Cemetery

The Freedmen's Bureau

The Freedmen’s Bureau

Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman and staff at Arlington house

Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman and staff at Arlington house

Flag of 37th Pennsylvania Infantry

Flag of 37th Pennsylvania Infantry

Group of "contrabands" at Foller's house

Group of “contrabands” at Foller’s house

Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Robertson's Brigade

Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Robertson’s Brigade

A prayer for the southern cause

Prayer for the southern cause

Walt Whitman Notebook LC #101

Walt Whitman Notebook

Dunlap, Kate. Diary, 1864-1865Dunlap, Kate. Diary, 1864-65

What are we fighting for?What are we fighting for?

Reconstruction

Reconstruction

The Carpet-baggerThe Carpet-bagger

Civil War teaching resources

Learning from the Source: Civil War Prison Experiences

Learning from the Source: Gettysburg Address Image Sequencing

Learning from the Source: Perspectives in Civil War Song Sheets

Learning from the Source: Where Do I Run to? Where Do I Hide?

Civil War Photographs: New Technologies and New Uses includes teacher’s guide

Primary source sets by time period

Settlement primary source set

American Revolution primary source set

Young Nation primary source set

Expansion & Reform primary source set

Industrial America primary source set

Progressive Era primary source set

Great Depression & World War II primary source set

Primary Source Learning: Postwar United States (1945-1968) primary source set

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