Key Battles of the Civil War


US History The Civil War Key Battles of the Civil War
Students learn about three of the key battles of the Civil War and the strategies used by the North and South during these battles. Then they explain how the battles helped to turn the war in the Union's favor. Finally, students rewrite a passage about the war in their own words.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about three of the key battles of the Civil War and the strategies used by the North and South during these battles. Then they explain how the battles helped to turn the war in the Union’s favor. Finally, students rewrite a passage about the war in their own words.

Objectives:

  • Identify the key battles of the Civil War.
  • Explain how early battles dispelled hopes for a quick end to the war.
  • Describe the strategies the North and South adopted to win the war.
  • Explain why the Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg helped turn the war in the Union’s favor.


At the start of the Civil War, both the North and South thought they would swiftly win. Each side expected to achieve a quick and painless end to the war. This was not the case. After the First Battle of Bull Run, both the North and the South realized that this would be a long and bloody war.

Objectives:

  • Identify the key battles of the Civil War.
  • Explain how early battles dispelled hopes for a quick end to the war.
  • Describe the strategies the North and South adopted to win the war.
  • Explain why the Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg helped turn the war in the Union’s favor.




Locations of Key Civil War Battles


What do you notice about the battles on this map? Can you explain your observations?

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Many students will note that most of the key battles took place in the Confederate States and the border states. The Battle of Gettysburg was the only key battle fought on Union soil.


Keep this map in mind as you learn about the Battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in The Civil War Unit.
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