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Civil War Internet Research Project

The American Civil War has sparked interest, and debate since it started in April 1861.  It affected many facets of societies, and certainly many people's lives.  The purpose of this project is to give you a chance to investigate one topic in depth.  In addition, you will view other's research.


1.  Follow the link for your assigned topic.  Take notes on the reading, and use this notes to post a summary of your topic on your class bulletin board.  Be sure to include some interesting facts for your classmates to write down on their Notes Sheet.

2.  When done, read the summaries written by the other class members and write down two interesting, specific facts you learned.

4.  Respond to one group's summary.  Discuss the strengths of their summary (please do not discuss weaknesses - STAY POSITIVE).  If a group has already received a response, find a group that has not.  I want every group to receive ONE response.  Make your response one paragraph long.


1.  Draft - focus on the Confederate and Union Drafts.  Find out what Abraham Lincoln did to "avoid" the draft.

2.  Desertions in the Army - focus on reasons and methods used by both Union and Confederate soldiers.  Also focus on punishments.

3.  Life of a Prisoner in a Camp and Prisoner Exchange System

4.  Spying in the Civil War - who were the spies, how did they engage in espionage, and how did they get away with it.

5.   Soldiers in the Civil War (who were they, entertainment, and food) in the Civil War

6.  Why Soldiers Fought - summarize this interview with a contemporary historian (James McPherson) in which he discusses soldier's motives (don’t simply focus on initial, sustaining and combat motives – define these, but be sure to look at the whole article)
7.  The Peace Movements in the Civil War - focus on the peace movements in both the North (The Copperheads) and South (Peace Societies)

8.  Discipline in the Army

9.  Life and Pay in Army Camps

10.  Civil War Medicine - summarize what Civil War Medicine was like, and what kind of treatment soldiers could expect to get on the battlefield.
11.  Civil War Weapons Part I - give an overview and discuss the artillery and small arms

12.  Civil War Weapons Part II - discuss the minie ball and edged weapons.  Also give a brief summary of the Gatling Gun and its use in the Civil War.

13.  The Naval War - summarize the information in this brief overview of the Naval War in the Civil War.

14.  Women (Serving in the army and Nurses)in the Civil War -
15.  Emancipation Proclamation – summarize what the Emancipation Proclamation said.  Also discuss what Lincoln’s other motives may have been for issuing this Proclamation. 

16.  The Fight for Freedom –Black Soldiers in the Civil War – read article and summarize significant information relative to black soldiers serving in the American Civil War.


17.  The Sea Island Experiments – read and summarize pgs. 422-423 in The Enduring Vision


18.  Native Americans (Cherokee) in the Civil War - focus on general information regarding Native Americans in the Civil War, but also focus specifically on the Cherokee Nation.

19.  Gettysburg Address – summarize the significance of the Gettysburg Address.  In addition, summarize the significance of Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address – given after he took the oath of office for the 2nd time – in March of 1865.

20.  Strategy and Tactics - focus on the differences in strategy – overall strategies and specific battle strategies.  Also define what battle tactics were often used and why.

21. Original Strategies of the Civil War - summarize the Original Plan to Defeat the South and also summarize the Southern strategy - often referred to as "Cotton Diplomacy"


22.  Foreign Recognition - The Struggle for British Support – discuss the significant events in the struggle over foreign (specifically British) recognition and support in the American Civil War.


23.  Significance of the Battle of Antietam – follow the link and look the “Significance and Outcome” link.  A new window will pop up.  Summarize the outcomes (including casualties) and significance.


24.  Battle of Vicksburg – discuss the strategies and the significance of Vicksburg.


25.  Battle of Gettysburg – follow this interactive “tour” of the Battle of Gettysburg (click the “forward” button to continue the story).  Be sure to discuss reasons for the battle, a summary of the battle and a discussion of its significance.

26.  Surrender at Appomattox - summarize the correspondence between Grant and Lee before they got to Appomattox, and then summarize their conversations at the surrender table at Appomattox. Finally, be sure to summarize the “Surrender Terms” (small box on the right hand side, near the bottom of the document).


27.  Environmental Impact of the American Civil War – be sure to completely discuss the short term environmental impact of the American Civil War.  You will need to look at THREE pages.


28.  Northern Industry in the American Civil War – discuss how the Civil War impacted the North industrially.


29.  Statistics of the Civil War -  focus on the statistics dealing with Civil War death (this site has much more detailed information about Civil War casualties), costs, and Enrollments

30.  Civilian's View of the Civil War - summarize some of the observations from The Journal of Jane Howison Beale.  What are some things she saw and experienced as a civilian that others might not have experienced?

Message Boards

Once you're done with your summary notes, post your written summary on your classes message board: