Course Description

United States History

HIUS 3072

Civil War and Reconstruction

Spring 2016

This course explores the era of the American Civil War with emphasis on the period 1861-1865. It combines lectures, readings, films, and class discussion to address such questions as why the war came, why the North won (or the Confederacy lost), how the war affected various elements of society, what was left unresolved at the end of the fighting, and how subsequent generations of Americans understood the conflict's meanings. Although this is not a course on Civil War battles and generals, about 50 per cent of the time in class will be devoted to military affairs, and we will make a special effort to tie events on the battlefield to life behind the lines.

The course will be organized in two lecture meetings a week. Grades will be based on two geography quizzes (each 5% of the course grade), two take-home examinations (each 35% of the course grade), and a 7-page paper that integrates material from the lectures, readings, and films (20% of the course grade).

Note:  This course does not satisfy the second writing requirement.


Required Books (some substitutions may be made):

Jacqueline G. Campbell, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea:

Resistance on the Confederate Home Front 

William J. Cooper. ed., Jefferson Davis: The Essential Writings

Charles B. Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners

and the Causes of the Civil War

Gary W. Gallagher, Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty 

Gary W. Gallagher, ed., The Richmond Campaign of 1862: The Peninsula and

the Seven Days

William E. Gienapp, ed., This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham


E. S. Redkey, A Grand Army of Black Men

Joan Waugh, U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts