Civil War - Classroom Resources | Idella Bodie S.C. Women


Confederacy – a union of persons, parties, or states; the Southern states

Militia – a citizen army; not part of a regular army

Patriot – a person who loves, supports, and defends his country

Union – the act of uniting; the United States of America



South Carolina was known as “the Cradle of Secession” because of starting the war by firing on Fort Sumter and being the first state to secede from the Union on December 20, 1860.

One New York regiment had 30 school teachers serving.

An estimated 300 women disguised themselves as men and fought in battle.

Both North and South offered potential recruits money for enlisting. Some men signed up then deserted to enlist again. One man repeated the process 32 times before being caught. 

Disease was the number one killer of soldiers in the Civil War.

In the Peninsular campaign, 5,000 wounded were cared for by 1 doctor and 5 hospital stewards. 

80% of the wounds were caused by a single shot muzzle rifle.

The muzzle rifle could be loaded at a rate of 3 times a minute and its range was 1,000 yards.

More Americans were wounded at the Battle of Shiloh than in all previous American wars combined.

7,000 soldiers were wounded in 20 minutes in the battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia.

The largest group of soldiers was 21 years old or younger.

300 soldiers were age 13 or under.

25 soldiers were age 10 or under.

Most served as drummer boys.

Another unexplained occurrence…Major McCook died July 21, 1863. His son, Robert, was killed on July 21, 1862. His youngest son, Charles, was killed on July 21, 1861. 

Bloodiest Battles of Civil War: Gettysburg (3 days) – 51,116 casualties Antietam (1 day) – 22,726 casualties Seven Day Battle – 36,463 casualties

During Pickett’s charge at the Battle of Gettysburg, artillery fire could be heard over 100 miles away.

An estimated 180,000 African-Americans served in the Union Army. By 1865, there were more African-Americans in the Union Army than there were in the Confederate army.

There were 239 raids, skirmishes, and battles fought in South Carolina during the Civil War.

During the battle of Antietam, Clara Barton was tending a wounded soldier so close to the fighting that a bullet went through her sleeve and killed her patient.

“I’m going to march to Richmond…and when I go through South Carolina it will be one of the most horrible things in the history of the world. The devil himself couldn’t restrain my men in that state.” -- William Tecumseh Sherman

By the end of the Civil War, every state fighting, except South Carolina, had sent regiments to fight for the North.

“…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”  President Abraham Lincoln


Classroom Activities

Research:  Individual students or small groups. Students use a variety of research materials to create a short presentation about a South Carolinian who played a significant role in the War Between the States explaining why the person was important to the Confederacy. Reports should be presented to the class or a group.

Character Education: After researching a South Carolinian who played a significant role in the War Between the States, the students should list the qualities that enabled them to achieve their goals and the obstacles they faced. A class listing of qualities should be combined in order to compare frequency of similar qualities.

Bulletin Board: Create a class bulletin board of “Who’s Who in the Confederacy.” 

Compare and Contrast Historical Perspective: Compare and contrast the physical appearance, furnishings and “appliances” in a plantation home during the War Between the States with today’s home. Which time period would you rather live in and why? Explain.

Biographies: Select from the listing below a famous woman who played an important role in the War Between the States or Civil War. Design a biography of the woman as a report or display.  

Clara Barton, Mary Todd Lincoln, Mary Boykin Chesnut, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Pauline Cushman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Varnia (Jefferson) Davis, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Dorothea Lynde Dix, Antonia Ford Willard, Rose O’Neal Greenhow

Analysis: What risks did Mary Boykin Chesnut face by continuing to document events during the War Between the States? What consequences might be involved if her writings had been discovered by the enemy?

Field Trip: Take a trip to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum or other local museum with Confederate relics.

South Carolina Confederate Relic  Room and Military Museum, 310 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201 (located in the same building as the SC State Museum).

Field Trip: Take a trip to the South Carolina State Capitol Building to view the location of the cannonballs that were fired at the State House by Sherman’s men.

South Carolina State Capitol Building,  1101 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201. 


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