- Real 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