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Civil War re-enactors, April 2012

Learning about the past isn't just a process of memorizing dates and facts. Instead, history is about inquiry, imagination, and interpretation. Re-enactments, like the one pictured to the left, are one means by which North Carolinians have attempted to understand the Civil War. This kind of engagement with the past became popular in the 1980s.

Activities are learning exercises that draw upon the fascinating pieces of our past collected on this website. They ask us to inquire into important historical questions, imagine the joy and sorrow of this tumultuous time, and interpret the legacy of this pivotal period. Experience history yourself through these activities on prewar, wartime, and postwar North Carolina.

Prewar North Carolina

North Carolinians and the "Peculiar Institution"

The historical record contains seemingly endless writings about slavery in America. These records include many different interpretations of the costs...

Wartime North Carolina

Following Sherman's March in Blue and Grey 1864-1865

This activitytracesGeneral WilliamSherman,of the Union Army, and his men as they marched through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina near...

Newspaper Accounts of Desertion, 1862

This activity explores newspaper accounts from theWeekly Raleigh Registerand theRaleigh Standardon desertion from the Confederate army in 1862. The first...

Postwar North Carolina

"Cartoons Are For All": Visual Representations of the Disfranchisement Movement

Senator Butler at Morganton.jpg

During the 1900 political campaign the Raleigh News and Observer, which was owned and edited by prominent Democrat Josephus Daniels,...

Using Legal Documents as Primary Sources

Laws and Resolutions of the State of North Carolina General Assembly 1900.PNG

Legal documents, such as statutory laws and court cases, provide historians with a rich primary source base upon which they...