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Social History for Every Classroom

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Analysis Worksheet: A Union Army Captain Testifies Before the Freedman's Commission

This worksheet helps students analyze the 1863 testimony of Captain C.B. Wilder, who attested to the impact of contraband slaves during the early years of the Civil War.

Active Viewing: Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided

PBS American Experience’s Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided is a 6 episode mini-series available as a 3 DVD set. The following activity focuses on the causes and consequences of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation through an active [...]

"In Defense of My Race and Country": African-American Soldiers on Why They Are Fighting

In this activity students read three letters written by African-American soldiers during the Civil War to determine why black soldiers felt compelled to join the Union Army.

Who Freed the Slaves During the Civil War?

In this activity students analyze visual and textual evidence about "contraband" African-American slaves during the Civil War era. They compare the roles of African Americans, the Union military, and the policies of the Republican party in [...]

What This Cruel War Was Over: Slavery and the Civil War

In this activity students will examine how attitudes towards slavery and the Civil War changed between 1860 and 1865. What began in the minds of President Lincoln and most northerners as a war to preserve the union changed, over the course of the [...]

The New York City Draft Riots: A Role Play

In this activity students research roles as either Irish immigrants or African-American residents in the midst of the New York City Draft Riots that took place in July 1863. Students gather evidence from primary sources to develop their characters, [...]

Before-and-After Photograph of an African-American Union Recruit

This Civil War photograph shows Private Hubbard Pryor, an escaped slave from Georgia, before and after his enlistment in the 44th U.S. Colored Troops, a Union Army regiment of African-American soldiers. Congress passed legislation allowing some [...]

Colleagues Testify in Support of Albert Cashier

Albert Cashier, born Jennie Irene Hodgers, enlisted in the Union Army in 1862. Historians have found evidence that hundreds of soldiers, including Cashier, were born female and enlisted as men during the Civil War. Unlike many women who [...]

Military Portrait of Albert Cashier

Albert Cashier, born Jennie Irene Hodgers, enlisted in the Union Army in 1862. Historians have found evidence that hundreds of soldiers, including Cashier, were born female and enlisted as men during the Civil War. This portrait was taken during the [...]


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