- Eye Witness Accounts Letters from the Civil War Illustration

Eye Witness Accounts
These letters were written during the Civil War
Originals of these letters are in our possession


Letter dated: June, 1862

Letter dated: September, 1862

Letter dated: December, 1864

Mrs. Donn's Lesson Plan

Time Frame: 1 day, 55 minute period

Grade Level: Written for Grades 5-12, can easily be adapted for any grade

Positioning: This lesson can be taught at any time during your study of the Civil War, but works extremely well as a transitional lesson, positioned between events leading up to the war, and your opening lesson on the war.

Background: Students have already studied events leading up to the Civil War.

Preparation: Copies of letters for classroom distribution and for use with the overhead.


Part One: Class Activity

  • Put the first letter (June 1862) on the overhead.

  • Ask your students: What can you learn about geography, daily life, and historical events from this letter?

  • Read letter aloud.

  • Have students tell you what they find.

Part Two: Group Activity

  • Break your students into groups of 3 students per group

  • Put the second letter (September 1862) on the overhead.

  • Additionally, hand each group a copy of the second letter

  • Have them get out a piece of paper and create three columns. Columns are headed Geography, Daily Life, and Historical Events

  • Have each group find pertinent information and write it down (under appropriate category)

  • Give them some time.

  • Have each group share what they found with the class.

Part Three - Individual Activity

  • Hand each student a copy of letter three (Dec 1864) with the notes included.

  • On the back of their handout, have each student create three columns headed Geography, Daily Life, and Historical Events respectively.

  • Direct your students to find and write down as many references as they can in letter three (Dec 1864), each in its appropriate column.

  • Give them some time.

  • Ask for volunteers to share with the class the information they found.

Civil War Letters


See Also:

The Civil War for Kids, Index

Civil War Interactive Games & Activities for Kids

Civil War Presentations in PowerPoint format

Civil War Video Clips

Civil War Clip Art for Kids and Teachers

Civil War, Free iPad & iPhone apps

American Civil War Lesson Plans for Teachers