Civil War

Battle of Gettysburg for Tweens and Teens

150 Years ago, the battle of Gettyburg was just ending today. Learn more about this historic and bloody battle while earning badges for Connect Your Summer.

You wouldn't want to be a Civil War soldier!: a war you'd rather not fight by written by Thomas Ratliff ; illustrated by David Antram ; created and designed by David Salariya

The Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address by Carin T. Ford

The Battle of Gettysburg: would you lead the fight? by Elaine Landau

Tillie Pierce: teen eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg by Tanya Anderson


Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated new film Lincoln opens on November 9. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as our 16th president, and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, it is inspired by Doris Kearns Goodwin's 2005 book Team of Rivals: the political genius of Abraham Lincoln. The film focuses on Lincoln's final few months in office, specifically his tireless efforts to get the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (abolishing slavery) passed. Other historical figures portrayed in the movie are the abolitionist congressman from Pennsylvania, Thaddeus Stevens (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones), and Secretary of State William Henry Seward (David Straithairn). The library's biography and history collections are full of great reads to help you get acquainted with one of our greatest presidents and one of the most tumultuous periods of American history.

Michigan in the Civil War

More than 90,000 Michigan men — nearly a quarter of the state's male population in 1860 — served in the United States Civil War. Over 14,000 Michigan soldiers died in the service of their country — roughly 1 of every 6 who served. Michigan supplied a large number of troops and several generals, including George Armstrong Custer's Michigan Wolverine Cavalry. In all, Michigan fielded 31 Regiments of Infantry, 11 Regiments of Cavalry, 14 batteries of Artillery, 1 regiment of Sharpshooters, and 1 regiment of Engineers. Among the more celebrated units was the 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, which suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Gettysburg. To find out more about Michigan's Civil War history check out the following books, DVDs, and websites:

150th Anniversary of the Civil War

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of U.S. Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. You can learn about Michigan's involvement — by both the military and the civilians — through the eyes of Michigan's Senator Jacob M. Howard who represented Michigan in Congress from 1862 to 1871. The senator will be portrayed by David Tennies, a local Civil War historian and reenactor. Join us on Tuesday evening, June 14 from 7-8:30PM for what should be a fascinating encounter. No registration is required.

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