Teaching with Civil War Documents

It ended over 150 years ago. But Americans still discuss, debate, and disagree about the Civil War. No one alive today lived during this momentous conflict. Time and myth have obscured our perspective on the war. So how do we know what happened?

Very often, we find answers and stories in records left by the participants themselves. Much of this evidence — including letters, orders, maps, telegrams, photographs, and broadsides — is preserved at the National Archives.

Use this page to find primary sources related to the Civil War, as well as document-based learning activities to share with your students.