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The Civil War in Alabama

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This podcast is part of the series: ArchiTreats: Food for Thought


Bob Bradley


Alabama Department of Archives and History


ArchiTreats: Food for Thought celebrates the Year of Alabama History through a series of sequential lectures in Alabama history by leading experts in the field. Enjoy this installment that was presented on Thursday, May 21 with Robert B. Bradley presenting The Civil War in Alabama.

The Civil War in Alabama focuses upon the events and activities which took place within the state from secession until the final days of the war. According to Bradley, many of the most significant events which took place in Alabama are frequently treated as local history when, in fact, they were part of a much larger picture. The formation of the Confederate government, the decision to fire on Ft. Sumter, the occupation of north Alabama, Streight's raid, Rousseau's raid, the Selma manufacturing complex, and the campaign for Mobile are just a few of the topics examined in this program.

Robert (Bob) Bradley is currently the Chief Curator at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. From 1974-1986, he was a historian with the National Park Service, specializing in the management, preservation, and interpretation of 18th- to mid 20th-century fortifications and military sites. Of his several assignments, his position as Chief Historian at Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston, South Carolina was his favorite. From 1986-1988 Bradley was Historic Sites Administrator for the Alabama Historical Commission. Since coming to the Archives in 1988 he has been responsible for the preservation, documentation, and conservation of the Department's collection of nearly a half-million artifacts. He is the author of Documenting the Civil War Period Flag Collection at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, which is available on the Department's web-site, and he has contributed to a wide variety of Civil War publications. He is also very active in Civil War battlefield preservation.

This ArchiTreats presentation is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Length: 49:06

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
7. Explain reasons for Alabama's secession from the Union, including sectionalism, slavery, states' rights, and economic disagreements.
  • Identifying Alabama's role in the organization of the Confederacy, including hosting the secession convention and the inauguration ceremony for leaders
  • Recognizing Montgomery as the first capital of the Confederacy
  • Interpreting the Articles of the Confederation and the Gettysburg Address
    SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    8. Explain Alabama's economic and military role during the Civil War.
    Examples: economic—production of iron products, munitions, textiles, and ships
    military—provision of military supplies through the Port of Mobile, provision of an armament center at Selma
  • Recognizing military leaders from Alabama during the Civil War
  • Comparing roles of women on the home front and the battlefront during and after the Civil War
  • Explaining economic conditions as a result of the Civil War, including the collapse of the economic structure, destruction of the transportation infrastructure, and high casualty rates
    SS2010 (5) United States Studies: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    11. Identify causes of the Civil War, including states' rights and the issue of slavery.
  • Describing the importance of the Missouri Compromise, Nat Turner's insurrection, the Compromise of 1850, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown's rebellion, and the election of 1860
  • Recognizing key Northern and Southern personalities, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Joseph Wheeler (Alabama)
  • Describing social, economic, and political conditions that affected citizens during the Civil War
  • Identifying Alabama's role in the Civil War (Alabama)
  • Examples: Montgomery as the first capital of the Confederacy, Winston County's opposition to Alabama's secession (Alabama)
  • Locating on a map sites important to the Civil War
  • Examples: Mason-Dixon Line, Fort Sumter, Appomattox, Gettysburg, Confederate states, Union states (Alabama)
  • Explaining events that led to the conclusion of the Civil War
    SS2010 (10) United States History I: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    14. Describe how the Civil War influenced the United States, including the Anaconda Plan and the major battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg and Sherman's March to the Sea. [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.e., A.1.i., A.1.k.]
  • Identifying key Northern and Southern Civil War personalities, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, and William Tecumseh Sherman
  • Example: President Abraham Lincoln's philosophy of union, executive orders, and leadership
  • Analyzing the impact of the division of the nation during the Civil War regarding resources, population distribution, and transportation
  • Explaining reasons border states remained in the Union during the Civil War
  • Describing nonmilitary events and life during the Civil War, including the Homestead Act, the Morrill Act, Northern draft riots, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address
  • Describing the role of women in American society during the Civil War, including efforts made by Elizabeth Blackwell and Clara Barton
  • Tracing Alabama's involvement in the Civil War (Alabama)


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