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Civil War Quizzes

by Gordon Leidner of Great American History

Below are two quizzes on the Civil War. The first one, GAH's Beginner's Quiz, will provide a quick test of the student's knowledge of the Civil War era. The second one, the Research Quiz, is more difficult and may require the use of the resources found in Outline of the Civil War-- With Links--From Great American History to answer. It is intended to test a students' skill in using Web resources.

The answers to both the Beginner's Quiz and Research Quiz can be found at the bottom of our Recommended Reading on The Civil War page.

GAH's Beginner's Quiz of the Civil War

1. What were the beginning and ending years of the Civil War?
2. What were the eleven states that rebelled against the Union known as?
3. What was the principal cash crop of the southern states before the war?
4. Who had been recently elected as President of the United States when the southern states seceded?
5. Who was elected president of the Confederate States?
6. Which side fired the first shots of the Civil War, and where did this happen?
7. What was the first major land battle of the Civil War and in what state did it take place?
8. What did President Lincoln do to try to limit the amount of supplies the South could import from Europe?
9. What were the names of the first two ironclad ships to engage in battle?
10. After what battle did President Lincoln decide to announce the Emancipation Proclamation?
11. What Confederate general became famous for his lightning attacks on superior Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley?
12. What Union general became famous for his march of destruction through Georgia?
13. What famous battle in Pennsylvania became known as the "High Water Mark" of the Confederacy?
14. Who wrote the words to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic?"
15. What former slave became famous for secretly returning to the South dozens of times in order to help slaves escape northward via the Underground Railroad?
16. What were the names of the three "border" states that remained neutral during the Civil War?
17. Who were the two famous generals (one from the North, one from the South) that met at Appomattox Court House for the surrender on April 9, 1865?
18. What infamous event occurred just five days after the Confederate army's surrender at Appomattox?
19. What was the name of the actor that assassinated President Lincoln?
20. How many men died in the Civil War: (a) 50,000; (b) 150,000; (c) 360,000; (d) 620,000?

GAH's Research Quiz on the Civil War

1. What years did each of the following events take place prior to the Civil War, and what was the significance of each?
A. The Dred Scott decision.
B. The Kansas-Nebraska Act.
2. Who were the four candidates for President of the United States in 1860, and what political parties did they represent?
3. What are two major causes of the Civil War?
4. What socio-economic system was the South's antebellum economy based upon? What countries were the major importers of the cash crop that was produced by this system?
5. After Fort Sumter was fired upon, what did President Lincoln do as a first step in putting down the rebellion? Was this action a popular one in the North?
6. What were the original seven southern states that formed the Confederacy? What were the names of the four states that joined later?
7. Who did Lincoln name as Secretaries of State, War, and Treasury? Whom did Davis name to head the same departments for the Confederacy?
8. What major naval crisis nearly caused England to enter the war on the Confederates' side? What did President Lincoln do to alleviate this crisis?
9. Name two of the South's main generals. List where they were born, when and where they died, and at least two major battles they participated in.
10. Name at least two famous northern abolitionists. What significant thing(s) did they do to fight slavery?
11. If Lincoln hated slavery so much, why didn't he announce that he was going to free the slaves at the war's beginning, rather than waiting until January 1, 1863?
12. Who was the inventor of the USS Monitor?
13. What was the significance of the Union's victory at Vicksburg, MS? What other major battle was taking place at the same time?
14. Who was the South's commanding general at the battle of Chancellorsville? Who was the North's? What famous southern general was shot at Chancellorsville, and would die soon after the battle?
15. How many casualties would be suffered on both sides at the battle of Gettysburg (killed, wounded, and missing)?
16. What are the famous closing words to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address speech?
17. Which constitutional amendment would Abraham Lincoln personally push through Congress, and what did it do? This same amendment, before the Civil War, had been proposed for a completely different purpose. Tell what that purpose was.
18. What did the South's CSS Alabama do? What US ship sank her and where?
19. Who was Stand Watie, and what did he do in the Civil War?
20. What famous African-American abolitionist became the personal friend of Abraham Lincoln? What was the title of his first autobiography?