Civil War Trust Animated Map: Entire Civil War

The four years of the Civil War resulted in 620,000 American deaths, which was 2% of the population in 1865 — the equivalent of which would be 6.5 million people in 2016. If you're interested in the Civil War and have 27 minutes to spare, a well-crafted video is a valuable way to learn more about the bloodiest event in American history. The video begins with a prelude to the Civil War and covers the Union and Confederate victories, defeats, strategic movements, and implications for the future of the United States.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Hand out a graphic organizer for learners to jot down notes about each battle or historical figure, and compare the details after viewing
  • Pause the video at opportune moments to discuss the battle or event in question
  • Connect the video to a lesson on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (15:04)
  • Write the names of prominent generals and politicians on the board for easy reference during viewing
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires prior knowledge of the causes of the Civil War, as the beginning of the video only briefly addresses the secession of the Confederate states
  • Detailed accounts of battles are fascinating to Civil War buffs, but may be dizzying to those new to the topic
  • Despite its subject matter, the video does not depict much violence, though there are images of fallen soldiers from Civil War photographs and reenactments
  • Comment section is open to the public

  • High-quality maps and reenactments are illustrative and informative
  • Video movement is steady and won't bore class members

  • None