Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Civil War Maps
Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 1863 Prepared by T. Ditterline.

[Detail] Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 1863

Civil War Maps provides students the unique opportunity to develop their historical thinking skills using reproductions of original maps from the Civil War era. Using these artifacts, students can study the course of the war, and research the careers of particular soldiers. By assuming the role of a soldier, students can gain a comprehension of the time period and learn to analyze and interpret maps. Finally, they may also practice issue-analysis and decision-making by examining a map as propaganda, and considering the role of the press during war-time.

Chronological Thinking

Students can use Civil War Maps to chart the course of the American Civil War. Have them begin by reading the Time Line of The Civil War in the collection Civil War Photographs. Students can then search Civil War Maps by battle name or location. They can note whether the maps they retrieve were created by Union or Confederate forces and what information about the battle is included.

By searching the collection on regional names, such as Northeastern States, Southern States, or Middle West, students can find maps of larger geographic areas. From a printed copy of one or several of these maps, the students can chart the progress of the war. They can label battle locations and their dates. Using several copies of the same map, students can also document which land was under whose authority at different points in the war. They can begin with the succession of southern states through to the end of the war. Shading with colored pencils can indicate who controlled which areas.