Texts about the American Civil War


A House Divided

The speech marked the start of the electoral race between Republican Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Stephen A. Douglas for a Senate seat. Lincoln provoked Douglas to express his position on the Nebraska bill and slavery and discussed the Dred Scott decision. His speech is now considered a key element that contributed to his political success and to him becoming the US President in 1861.

The Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln begins his address by reminding the audience of the founding values of the American nation inscribed in the Declaration of Independence – liberty and equality.

Short stories

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge | Analysis

The story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” depicts an event which took place sometime during the American Civil War. By depicting the event, the short story reveals many details about the conflict between the Northern and the Southern states.

Chickamauga | Analysis

The story is about the Battle of Chickamauga, fought in 1863. The author depicted one of the events from the Chickamauga Campaign, from the perspective of a young Southerner boy.

The Whipping Boy | Analysis

In “The Whipping Boy”, events are set in a historical context, the end of the American Civil War. The main theme is slavery with a focus on both the black men's and white men’s opinions towards it.

Other texts

Below are further suggestions for texts or movies that may be relevant when working with the American Civil War or slavery in the US. We do not currently have study guides for these texts, but maybe you can be inspired to look for some of these titles yourself.

  • Alcott, Louisa May - Little Women (1868 novel)
  • Beecher Stowe, Harriet - Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852 novel)
  • Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage (1895 novel)
  • Fleming, Victor and Cukor, George - Gone with the Wind (1939 movie)
  • MacKinlay, Kantor - Andersonville (1955 novel)
  • McQueen, Steve - Twelve Years a Slave (2013 movie)
  • Mitchell, Margaret - Gone with the Wind (1936 novel)
  • Morrison, Toni - Beloved (1987 novel)
  • Spielberg, Steven - Lincoln (2012 movie)
  • Tarantino, Quentin - Django Unchained (2012 movie)
  • Whitehead, Colson - The Underground Railroad (2016 novel)