Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Civil War Maps
Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 1863 Prepared by T. Ditterline.

[Detail] Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 1863

Historical Comprehension

From Civil War Maps students can gain an historical comprehension of what life in America was like in the 1860s. For example, students can search on battlefield or the names of battles and see where the battles were fought. They can look at roadways and deduce that traveling by foot or by horse were the common means of transportation. They can also search on railroad to see how trains may have aided in the transport of goods. Even the means of drafting the maps - by hand with pen or pencil -indicate the printing techniques available.

From these maps students also have the opportunity to comprehend what the typical soldier encountered during the Civil War. What types of fortifications are indicated on the maps? What was the climate for the regions where most fighting occurred? Were soldiers able to shoot from behind trees in forests? Or were there battles out in open fields? What buildings would a soldier find if his troop entered a town?

To further their comprehension of life at this time period, students can browse the photographs in Civil War Photographs looking for evidence of clothing worn and technology available. They can also search on Civil War in the following text-based collections for related narratives and then search in Civil War Maps on the names of towns and battles discussed in these narratives.