Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Civil War Battle Plans

Length of Time:   2 Class Periods


In his Second Inaugural Address, President Lincoln observed about the war: “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”

Much the same may be said about the geographic knowledge of the terrain upon which the war was fought. The North had few accurate maps of the areas of the South. This early advantage helped the South greatly because the battles were fought on its home turf. Most battle maps were drawn after the actual conflict. Maps, like other primary sources, also reflect a perspective, often in a literal sense. Students will explore how both location and historic time tempered what people saw and placed on maps.

Essential Questions

How does geographic knowledge affect military strategy and success?

Common Core Standards

English/Language Arts: History/Social Studies. 9-12

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.7 Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.9 Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.9 Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

Content Standards