Civil War Unit Study

I have been writing a Civil War unit study for my daughter who will be in high school. This study will cover the period before the war, the war, and the time of reconstruction. American literature started about this time. We will be studying some of the great authors of the time period.


For our Civil War unit study we plan to use Sounding Forth the Trumpet by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. The time period of the book is 1837 through 1860, so it does not go through the reconstruction period.

We will also use A Basic History of the United States volume 3 by Clarence B. Carson for reference. The volume has nine chapters. We will do about one chapter each month of the school year. The first chapter is an introduction so we will combine it with chapter two.

Carson gives a good overview of time period. I like the activities in the teacher's manual. It lists the people and events of the time. The manual also has thought questions and terms to define.

History Activities

I want my daughter to do more than read the text and answer essay questions. So here are some of the other projects that I have planned.

I want her to choose four biographies of people from the time frame. When she is studying the Civil War I want her to do a biography of a person from the south and one from the north. I want a biography of a person from the time before the war and one during the reconstruction.

I want her to make a timeline book. In the book I want her to write down events and people. I also want her to define terms. The people, events, and terms are in the teacher's manual of A Basic History of the United States.

Map Activities

For our civil war unit study I want her to make some maps. Here is my list:

  • On the map of the United States draw the states from the east coast to the Mississippi. Also divide the area into four regions.
  • On a map, show where each Native American tribe was relocated.
  • On a map show the Mexican War.
  • On a map show the Oregon Trail.
  • On a map show the major battles of the Civil War.

Language Arts

I want her to read about the American authors of the Civil War period. Some of the authors are James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Gilmore Simms, Emily Dickenson, and Walt Whitman.

I want my daughter to read books written during the civil war period and other story about the time period.

Uncle Tom's Cabin is important book written just before the Civil War. I want her to read it.

I want her to read The Wounded Yankee, The Dixie Widow, and The Last Confederate from the House of Winslow series by Gilbert Morris.

She will also be graded on the essays that she writes.

Fun Activities

  • Go to a Civil War reenactment.
  • Watch the movie Gone with the Wind.
  • Make hard tack.
  • Study the fashion of the time.


With high school I will need to keep records of what my daughter did. I also need to have some way of evaluating her. I will meet with her for 15 minutes every other day to see what she has been reading.

For an A: Maps and timeline are done neatly and complete. There should be 41 items on the timeline. Reports are at least 500 words. I plan to have her write report every two weeks. All 70 terms need to be defined.

For a B: There should be 33 items on the timeline. The reports are between 425 and 400 words. She has 56 of the terms defined.

For a C: There should be no less than 29 items on the timeline. The reports are between 375 and 350 words. She has 49 of the terms defined.

I expect that her work to be at least a c

I think that if she works daily on the projects and keeps up with the reading that the Civil War unit study is doable.

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