Harper’s Weekly Online

by Jim on November 18, 2011

Ever wonder how newspapers during Civil War covered the battles? Are your doing any research into an aspect of the Civil War and need a great primary source? Well, the Son of the South website has digitized versions of Harper’s Weekly online for your review. According to the website, they have “over 7,000 pages of original Civil War content, and is full of incredible photographs, original illustrations, and eye-witness accounts of the defining moments of this Historic Struggle.” They have even organized the information based on each year of the war, different battles, generals, slavery, medicine and the Lincoln Assassination. How can you use this collection in your classroom?

  • Have students use this as research for a paper or report
  • Have students create their own newspaper with accounts of a battle
  • Have students read the July 18, 1863 and the “First Report from Gettysburg” and ask why did it take 17 days to get information out in the paper?
  • Have students review and reflect on the ads in the papers
  • Have students review and reflect on the cartoons in the paper and what impact they may have had on attitudes toward the War.
  • Check out the sketch of the Maryland Battery at Antietam, then have students research where the Maryland Battery was located at on the Antietam Battlefield. You may even want to contact an Antietam park Ranger or two? (talk about Subject Matter Experts!)

Let me know your thoughts on how you can use this great resource. Until next time…happy reading!

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