Voices of the Civil War



  • The  speeches, writings and music of the Civil War. This class traces the Civil War from John Brown at Harper's Ferry to the death of John Wilkes Booth. 

  • The Civil War is discussed by reading the diaries and letters of officers and common soldiers.

  • Civil War music from a variety of sources illustrates the mood of the times.



  • Class One - 1861 - Secession and Conflict - The Confederacy is formed and the war begins at Fort Sumter.  Union forces are defeated at Bull Run, Big Bethel and Wilson’s Creek.  Lincoln appoints George McClellan to lead Union forces.

  • Class Two - 1862 – Lee Takes Command - Grant captures Fort Donelson under terms of “Unconditional Surrender.” The CSS Virginia battles the USS Monitor to a draw in the first ironclad naval engagement. Lee assumes command of the Army of Northern Virginia. In the Seven Days battles, Lee displays his brilliance as Confederate forces defeat McClellan's Union troops and save Richmond.  Casualties mount on both sides in battles at Manassas, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.

  • Class Three - 1863 – Union Victories Turn the Tide - Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Lee defeats Hooker’s forces at Chancellorsville. Lee's army is repulsed in its second invasion of the North at Gettysburg.  Vicksburg surrenders to Grant. The 54th Massachusetts Colored Troops lead the assault on Fort Wagner.  Lincoln gives the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the National Cemetery.

  • Class Four - 1864 - Grant and Sherman Pound the Confederacy - Grant is appointed to lead the Union Army.  The Overland Campaign begins with bloody conflicts at The Wilderness and Spotsylvania.  Sherman captures Atlanta and begins his March to the Sea.  Sheridan rallies Union troops at Cedar Creek and gains control of Shenandoah Valley.

  • Class Five - 1865 - The Lost Cause - The Congress passes the 13th Amendment.  The Union victory at Five Forks, VA forces Lee to abandon Richmond and Petersburg.  Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House.  Johnston surrenders to Sherman in North Carolina. Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.






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Revised 10/02/2013