National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

[Graphic] Teaching with Historic Places logo

Teaching with Historic Places

Heritage Education Services

Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses properties listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom.


Civil War History

Teaching with Historic Places has posted on the web the following lesson plans that consider a variety of important themes in Civil War history. These lessons, based on sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.

A Nation Repays Its Debt: The National Soldiers' Home and Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio (115)
Learn about the evolution of a system to honor and care for U.S. veterans beginning with the creation of soldiers' homes and national cemeteries during and after the Civil War. (National Historic Landmark)

Andersonville: Prisoner of War Camp (11)
Examine conditions of the Civil War's most notorious prison, and learn how inmates were able to cope. (National Park)

The Battle of Bentonville: Caring for Casualties of the Civil War (69)
Understand how battlefield medical care developed during the Civil War, particularly in the Union Army. (National Historic Landmark)

The Battle of Glorieta Pass: A Shattered Dream (91)
Discover how the Battle of Glorieta Pass ended the Confederacy's dream of expanding westward to the Pacific Ocean. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Battle of Honey Springs: The Civil War Comes to the Indian Territory (68)
Learn how the Civil War created fierce conflicts among American Indian nations who had been moved across the Mississippi River.

The Battle of Mill Springs: The Civil War Divides a Border State (72)
Use one of the Civil War's key early battles to understand the conflicts that faced border states such as Kentucky during and after the war. (National Historic Landmark)

The Battle of Prairie Grove: Civilian Recollections of the Civil War (70)
Understand the violence of the Civil War through the eyes of young women whose homes were in the midst of an important battle and continuing conflict.

The Battle of Stones River: The Soldiers' Story (40)
Recall one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles, which raged through the rocky cedar glades of Tennessee, as told in eyewitness and personal accounts. (National Park)

Chatham Plantation: Witness to the Civil War (45)
Learn why this home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was a center of military activity, and consider the impact the war had on those whose property became part of the battlefield. (National Park)

Choices and Commitments: The Soldiers at Gettysburg (44)
Trace the course of this Civil War battle and consider the wrenching personal choices that were made by soldiers on each side. (National Park)

Clara Barton's House: Home of the American Red Cross (27)
Follow Barton's remarkable career as a leader of charitable causes, from caring for the wounded on Civil War battlefields to founding the American Red Cross. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

"Comfortable Camps?" Archeology of the Confederate Guard Camp at the Florence Stockade (142)
Learn about the life of the Confederate guards at the Florence Stockade Civil War prison camp and discover how archeology revealed much of this information.

First Battle of Manassas: An End to Innocence (12)
Study personal accounts of soldiers who fought in the first battle of the Civil War, and discover how the day set the tone for the many bloody battles to come. (National Park)

Fort Morgan and the Battle of Mobile Bay (73)
Follow Admiral Farragut's attack on Fort Morgan and Mobile Bay, and consider the human reaction to technologies such as ironclads and underwater mines. (National Historic Landmark)

Fort Pickens and the Outbreak of the Civil War (38)
Discover why Fort Pickens was so valuable to both the Union and Confederacy, and follow the actions of the military commanders faced with crucial decisions. (National Park)

Glorieta and Raton Passes: Gateways to the Southwest (117)
Follow the Confederacy’s quest to conquer the American Southwest and the Union Army’s valiant campaign to obstruct the advancing soldiers. (National Park/Raton Pass is a National Historic Landmark.)

"Journey from Slavery to Statesman": The Homes of Frederick Douglass (147)
Follow Frederick Douglass on his journey from life as a slave to that of a respected statesman and investigate how three homes reflect the different phases of his life. (Wye House, the Nathan and Polly Johnson House, and Cedar Hill are National Historic Landmarks. Cedar Hill and the Nathan and Polly Johnson House are each a resource of a National Park.)

Lincoln Home National Historic Site: A Place of Growth and Memory (127)
Learn how Abraham Lincoln's belief in freedom and democracy, his eloquence, and the support of family and community propelled him to the White House and uplifted him through the turbulent Civil War. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

Not to Be Forgotten: Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery (123)
Learn about the history of Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio, and about the federal government's policies guiding the marking of POW graves during and after the Civil War.

President Lincoln's Cottage: A Retreat (138)
Explore President Abraham Lincoln’s life at a country retreat during summer months and examine the work he completed there on the Emancipation Proclamation. (National Historic Landmark)

The Siege and Battle of Corinth: A New Kind of War (113)
Understand how newly developed technologies affected two military engagements and one tiny town in Mississippi during the Civil War. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)

The Siege of Port Hudson: "Forty Days and Nights in the Wilderness of Death" (71)
Understand the importance of the Mississippi to both the North and South during the Civil War, and the differences between a siege and a regular battle. (National Historic Landmark)

These Honored Dead: The Battle of Rivers Bridge and Civil War Combat Casualties (94)
Learn how veteran soldiers adapted to the technological changes that had increased the deadliness of the battlefield, and understand the cost of the Civil War in human terms.

To learn more about TwHP's other lessons, visit the Lesson Plan Descriptions page.