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Torn Within, Threatened Without: Kentucky and the Border States in the Civil War

Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on conflicts in Kentucky and other border states during the Civil War.

In this Landmarks workshop, the Kentucky Historical Society  takes teachers beyond the battlefield in an exploration of the Civil War in Kentucky. According to the project director, "the conventional studies focus on places like Perryville and personalities like John Hunt Morgan . . . but recent scholarship reveals a complex network of guerillas, political and economic intrigue, expansive questions of loyalty, and sometimes surprising race and gender roles within a divided society." As a border state between North and South, Kentucky was a microcosm of Civil War divisiveness and played a key role in its outcome. As Lincoln said, "I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky." Among the workshop faculty are historians William C. Harris (North Carolina State University), Alicestyne Turley and J. Blaine Hudson (University of Louisville), Brian McKnight (University of Virginia-Wise), Lindsey Apple and James Klotter (Georgetown College), Aaron Astor (Maryville College), Anne E. Marshall (Mississippi State University), Dwight Pitcaithley (New Mexico State University), and Christopher Phillips (University of Cincinnati), the last of whom discusses Missouri and Maryland as other examples of Civil War border states. Readings include three books by visiting faculty: Harris's Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union; Lindsey Apple's The Family Legacy of Henry Clay: In the Shadow of a Kentucky Patriarch; and Anne E. Marshall's Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Memory in a Border State. In addition to reading secondary works, participants consult primary sources from the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society and conduct research in the Society archives. Teachers visit sites in Lexington, Frankfort, and Louisville, such as the Abraham Lincoln birthplace, the Old State Capitol, the Kentucky Military History Museum, the Perryville Battlefield, the Farmington Historic Plantation, and Camp Nelson, a recruiting and training center for African-American soldiers. Participants discuss classroom applications, keep notebooks, and write responses to site visits. Within a month of the workshop, they submit an essay about a primary source for posting on the workshop blog.

Dates: June 23–29 or July 14–20
Director(s): Tim Talbott
Grantee Institutions: Kentucky Historical Society
Location: Frankfort, KY

About NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government. As part of the NEH’s We the People program, we offer the following Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops provide the opportunity for K-12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs will give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence. Landmarks Workshops present the best scholarship on a specific landmark or related cluster of landmarks, enabling participants to gain a sense of the importance of historical places, to make connections between what they learn in the Workshop and what they teach, and to develop enhanced teaching or research materials.

Amount of Award

Teachers selected to participate will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential Workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover living expenses, books, and travel expenses to and from the Workshop location.


These projects are designed principally for classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools, as well as home schooling parents. Other K-12 school personnel, including administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom professionals, are eligible to participate, subject to available space.

Teachers at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals are eligible for this program. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must complete the NEH application and provide all of the information requested to be considered eligible.

New this year: An individual may apply to up to two NEH Summer Programs in any one year (Landmarks Workshops, Summer Seminars, or Summer Institutes), but may participate in only one. Please note that eligibility criteria differ significantly between the Landmarks Workshops and the Seminars and Institutes Programs.

How to Apply

Please e-mail, telephone or send by U.S. Post a request for application information and expanded Workshop descriptions to the Landmarks directors listed here; in many cases, these materials will also be available on project Web sites. You may request information about as many Workshops as you like, and, as noted above, you may apply to up to two programs but participate in only one.