Discovering the Civil War Online with American Military University, Part 1

UPDATE: The Discovering the Civil War Online Presentation is available to everyone free online.

I “attended” a webcast put on by American Public University and hosted by Dan Soschin on March 3, 2010.  Fellow bloggers Rene Tyree, Jim Schmidt, James Rosebrock and  Rea Andrew Redd were in attendance.

The webcast featured three presentations related to Discovering the Civil War Online:

  1. Professor Steven E. Woodworth of APU and TCU discussing good websites with which to do online Civil War research
  2. Tom Daccord of Best of History Websites showing attendees how to navigate around his site to explore some of the better Civil War sites
  3. J.B. Tanner, Admissions Rep at APU, discussing some of the online courses and history disciplines which might have been of interest to students of the Civil War

Professor Woodworth’s presentation discussed the following web sites, some of which I’ve used heavily for my new Petersburg Campaign site Beyond the Crater:

APU Online Library

You need to be a student to access the APU Online Library, but those of you taking classes at any University probably have access to Civil War resources through your chosen institution of higher learning.  Many universities, for instance, allow students JSTOR access, and there are literally thousands of journal articles from the past hundred years relating to the Civil War.  Professor Woodworth made the point that many first person accounts need to be viewed critically because many of these men and women had their own axes to grind after the war. (tOSU)

I have used (hosted by The Ohio State University) quite liberally at Beyond the Crater.  The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies is hosted there in its entirety in text format, page by page.  The site has allowed me to quickly and easily proofread all of the Official Records reports at Beyond the Crater wherever I can take a laptop.  It has saved me a tremendous amount of time in the process.  Similarly, all four volumes of Battles and Leaders of the Civil War are present at  Other Civil War records include letters and diaries, oral histories, and medical documents.

Library of Congress

The Abraham Lincoln Papers are located at the Library of Congress web site.  In addition, you can find numerous photographs of Civil War personalities and sites.  If you are willing to search, you’ll find many documents of value to students of the Civil War.  Check out the Civil War Resources landing page for more information.

Thomas Tredway Library

The Thomas Treadway Library of Augustana College contains some Civil War resources, including the diary of 8th Illinois soldier G.D. Molineaux.

Digital Library of Georgia

Another diary, this time that of Cornelius C. Platter, is located at the Digital Library of Georgia.

Dr. Woodworth incorrectly identified this as a University of Kentucky website.  It is in fact fellow Civil War blogger Chris Wehner’s site full of transcribed letters of Civil War soldiers.

APU Online Classroom

Obviously you must be a student at APU in order to take advantage of this resource, but one of the reasons this webinar was created was to entice interested students of history to take some Military History classes at APU.

Newspaper Databases

Newspaper Databases are something I’ve recently become interested in as a result of my Petersburg Campaign project at Beyond the Crater.  I personally subscribe to in order to access old newspaper articles.  Dr. Woodworth pointed out Gale’s 19th Century Newspapers as one site he uses.  The New York Times Archive offers old newspaper articles free for a time, with a subscription once you’ve looked at a set amount of articles.  The Richmond Daily Dispatch is offered free online, and I’m sure there are many others like this as well which I haven’t yet discovered.  If you know of other newspaper archive sites, please let me know in the comments below.

I’ll take a look at the second and third presentations in the coming weeks.  Check in next time to discover more useful and interesting Civil War sites online!

Check out Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online!

Check out Brett’s list of the Top 10 Civil War Blogs!

Read many Civil War Book Reviews here at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog!

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3 responses to “Discovering the Civil War Online with American Military University, Part 1”

  1. Dan Soschin Avatar

    Brett –

    Great post! Great recap… Did you know your readers can view the event on-demand from our archive? It’s located here:

    Best regards,

    1. admin Avatar


      Thanks! I was unsure if it was okay to share the link, so thank you for posting it.


  2. […] I attended an earlier AMU webcast on Discovering the American Civil War Online which I blogged about. […]

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