Welcome to the Research Guide for Reconstruction During and After the Civil War
This guide is for educators and students seeking reliable online resources about the Reconstruction era. It was created as a course project for the Turning Points in American History 2012 National Field Study, Reconstruction:Culture and Politics in the South, led by Professor Elise Guyette. Participants spent eight days in Beaufort, South Carolina, site of Reconstruction's "Port Royal Experiment," learning about regional and U.S history related to Reconstruction and about Gullah culture. To some extent, the resources selected for this guide extend beyond post-Civil War Reconstruction events to reflect this course's interests in the South Carolina Sea Islands, Gullah culture, northern missionaries, the wider scope of African American history, and understanding the diverse perspectives of northerners and southerners in this time period.
This guide features a heavy emphasis on primary sources. Primary sources for this period are particularly rich; through government documents, personal diaries and letters, photographs, cartoons, songs, and artifacts, students are able to develop a more imaginative and deep understanding of the era's complex perspectives and experiences. Digitized collections of family letters, diaries, autobiographies, scrapbooks, oral histories, and memoirs have opened up a treasure trove of personal narratives that make the past feel immediate. An entire page is dedicated to primary sources, but where appropriate and for ease of access, I have also included them with other topics. Please note that most of the lesson plans in the "Teacher Resources" page include primary sources (with links to them), as well.
Ambrotype of Unidentified Civil War Soldier & Family
Source: Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010647216/
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