News & Articles

New Topics for August 2016

Topics published in August 2016:

David B. Sachsman, The Civil War in Film
Chris Mackowski, Grant“s Memoirs
Jack H. Lepa, The Battle of Lookout Mountain
George A. McLean, Jr., A Railroad War

New Topics for July 2016

Topics published in July 2016:

Robert M. Dunkerly, The Carolinas Campaign
Timothy J. Orr, The 20th Maine Volunteers

New Topics for June 2016

Topics published in June 2016:

Clint Johnson, Reenacting
Michael R. Bradley, Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kathleen L. Gorman, The Ku Klux Klan
John V. Cimprich, Fort Pillow

April 12, 2011 Essential Civil War Curriculum Launched


 The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies has launched The Essential Civil War Curriculum

 BLACKSBURG, Virginia (April 12, 2011) The Essential Civil War Curriculum, a Sesquicentennial Project of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and the History Department of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) was launched today under the URL

 The Essential Civil War Curriculum is a website that contains a definitive list of Civil War topics and related content that public and academic audiences wishing for a broad understanding of the Civil War should study, housed at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. For the average person interested in the Civil War the challenge today is that there is too much information. Google any Civil War topic on the internet and the reader will be presented with thousands of hits. Whether the information is accurate, whether it’s worth looking at, whether the reader is looking for the right information, is not answered. What do those interested in the Civil War need to know to increase their knowledge and understanding of this important event in American history?  The Essential Civil War Curriculum, overseen by professional Civil War historians, guides the reader to the important topics and sources that every student of the Civil War, amateur or professional, needs to understand.

 The Essential Curriculum is owned by the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and is sponsored by Professor William C Davis and Dr. James I. Robertson Jr. They are working with Mr. Laurie Woodruff who conceived, financed and manages and edits the website and the Essential Civil War Curriculum.  A Board of Historians composed of the country’s most eminent Civil War scholars individually and collectively approves all scholars wishing to contribute to the website and all postings and content produced from contributors through the wiki model under which the Essential Civil War Curriculum is managed.

 The Center’s mission is to be “a formal entity for studying and sharing knowledge” about the Civil War, and in particular to “target both academic and public audiences." The Essential Civil War Curriculum has been designed to achieve these objectives and therefore will appeal to young and old; the academic scholar, amateur historian, teacher and student. The website’s content is produced under a wiki model. By invitation from the sponsors, individual scholars can contribute by populating the topics. A member of the Board of Historians will review and approve all contributions and the website’s sponsors will have final say on whether any contributed content is actually posted on the site, thereby ensuring the quality of the information. 

 Eventually the website will house information on over 400 topics. We have launched the website with only a handful of topics completed, by members of our Board of Historians, to encourage other scholars to participate in the process and we expect the content to grow rapidly and steadily. If readers do not find what they are looking for initially, we encourage them to keep coming back and meanwhile to browse what has been published.

 Our Cause: “Increasing interest in and knowledge of the American Civil War during the Sesquicentennial”


Laurie Woodruff

Executive Director and Editor  Essential Civil War Curriculum

New Topics for April 2016

Topics published in April 2016:

Michael C. C. Adams, Experience of Battle.
Al Ronzoni, The Democratic Party

New Topics for March 2016

Topics published in March 2016:

Miles Mathews, Sibley's New Mexico Campaign

New Topics for February 2016

Topics published in February 2016:

Phillip W. Magness, Lincoln and Colonization
Michael E. Woods, Slave Narratives
Phillip W. Panhorst, Memorial Art and Architecture

New Topics for January 2016

Topics published in January 2016:

Ted Alexander, Stuart’s Chambersburg Raid​
Kyle Rothemich, The Battle of Second Kernstown
Stephen Cushman, Joseph E. Johnston

New Topics for December 2015

Topics published in December 2015:

Barbara Hahn and Bruce E. Baker, Cotton
Chuck Hamilton, Surrenders After Appomattox
David Hochfelder, The Telegraph
Elle Harell, The Struggle for Missouri
Marian Moser Jones, Clara Barton

New Topics for November 2015

Topics published in November 2015:

Stewart Bennett, The Battle of Brice's Crossroads
Jonathan W. White, Copperheads

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Topics published in August 2018:

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