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Civil War – Middle

Older Abe Lincoln - black and white photograph

Middle School PBS LearningMedia Resources

Civil War Overview | The Address | 5-13+

In this short history of the Civil War, we're exposed to the months leading up to November 1863, when Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address. This synopsis paints a gritty picture of the war, and of Lincoln's inspiring words that redefined the Union's fight as a battle for human equality.

Loreta Velazquez Civil War Soldier
| REBEL| 6-12

It is estimated that between 500 and 1,000 women went into military service during the American Civil War, yet their contributions to major events of that era are often overlooked, misunderstood, misrepresented, or undocumented. Using excerpts from the documentary film Rebel: Loreta Velazquez Civil War Soldier and Spy and the remarkable story of Loreta Velazquez as a guide, students will: consider how factors such as gender and race shape our understanding of history.

Slavery and Freedom
| The Underground Railroad | 6-12

This video segment from Underground Railroad: The William Still Story explores the thought process, of the time, behind enslaving others. Slave owners made the enslaved believe that they were better off being held captive then what the outside world had to offer them.

Transcontinental Railroad
| Wyoming PBS | 5-12

The idea for a Transcontinental Railroad had been suggested as early as the 1830’s, but real planning did not begin until the 1850’s. Then, a little over a year after the start of the Civil War, Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act.

Harriet Beecher Stowe
| The Abolitionists | 8-12

In this video adapted from American Experience: “The Abolitionists,” featuring historical reenactments, learn about the impact of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe on the abolitionist movement. Stowe was an author whose commitment to the abolitionist cause was strengthened after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. She responded with the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an immediate best seller that was credited with “putting a human face on slavery” and ultimately helping launch the Civil War.

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