Civil War and Reconstruction – HIUS 520

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is a comprehensive examination of the causes, course, and the significance of the American Civil War and Reconstruction.




Understanding the Civil War is essential to understanding American history as a whole. Understanding wartime military developments in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania is essential to understanding the Civil War.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate reading comprehension using secondary sources through online or traditional venues.
  2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of various historical perspectives of specific events in the Civil War and Reconstruction.
  3. Demonstrate graduate-level writing skills.
  4. Demonstrate research ability using both primary and secondary sources through online and traditional venues.
  5. Produce a graduate-level primary source research paper suitable for presentation or publication.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Research Paper

1. Proposal

The proposal is a detailed explanation of the topic to be studied, the process by which the student answers a question of historical significance, and the principal sources for research. It must include a thesis statement, an explanation of historical significance, a preliminary bibliography, a research plan that explains the location of the major primary sources needed to complete the project (archives, digital libraries, museums, etc.), and an estimation of the time required to complete the research. The student will write a 1-page research proposal in current Turabian format on a topic related to the eastern theater of the Civil War.

2. Annotated Bibliography

The student will form a basic list of the key documents, historical objects, works of art, books, and articles related to the research topic. The list must contain at least 20 entries and be divided into primary and secondary sources. Of these entries, 3 must be primary sources, 3 must be books, and 3 must be articles. Of the 3 primary sources, at least 1 must be an archived source. At least 20 entries, divided between primary and secondary sources, must be annotated. The student must use current Turabian format for the bibliography.

3. Outline

The student will create an outline for his/her research paper which must include 2–4 main points. The outline must have 2–3 sub-points for each section of the paper.

4. Draft

The student will draft at least the first 4 pages of his/her research paper. This draft must include a reference page of at least 8 bibliography entries in current Turabian format.

5. Final

The student will write a research-based paper of 7–8 pages in current Turabian format that focuses on a topic related to the eastern theater of the Civil War. The paper must include at least 20 footnotes. Of these footnotes, at least 5 must be to primary sources (more is better), at least 3 must be to books, and at least 3 must be to articles.

Book Review

The student will write a 500-800 word Book Review on the Grimsley textbook. Citations must be in current Turabian format.

Quizzes (3)

You will complete 3 quizzes in this course. Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material since the previous quiz. Quizzes will be open-book/open-notes. Quizzes 1 and 2 will contain 25 multiple-choice questions and have a 50-minute time limit. Quiz 3, which will cover only the video lectures from Weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8, will have 10 questions and a 50-minute time limit.