Gettysburg College’s distinctive Civil War Era Studies (CWES) minor, housed in the Civil War Institute, draws on the college’s unique historical location to integrate classroom experiences and experiential learning with the power of place. Minors have access to a wide range of courses, fellowship experiences, internship opportunities, and scholarly networks to enhance their understanding of the Civil War era and its continued resonance in contemporary American society.

At Gettysburg, the battlefield itself serves as an outdoor classroom for the study of the Civil War – but that study extends far beyond the field itself to encompass the social, cultural, artistic, economic, literary, and political dimensions of the conflict itself and the years that preceded and followed it. Students also have many opportunities to explore how the events and unresolved questions of the Civil War and Reconstruction period continue to affect American society in the 21st century and how historical memory of the era has been constructed and deployed over time.

Recent Graduates Are Employed By:

  • National Park Service
  • Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries
  • Thomas Jefferson Foundation
  • Four Score Consulting, LLC
  • Cardinal Education
  • Pamplin Historical Park
  • City of Columbia, SC
  • SAE International
  • Old Dominion University

Requirements for the Civil War Era Studies Minor

  • CWES 205 (Introduction to Civil War Era Studies)
  • 1 additional CWES course
  • 1 course from the list of CWES cross-listed electives (housed in a department outside CWES)
  • 3 additional courses (may be CWES courses OR courses from the list of approved electives)

CWES Courses

  • CWES 210: Civil War Memory: Race, Politics, and Commemoration
  • CWES 212: Narratives of Illness
  • CWES 215: Introduction to War Studies
  • CWES 225: Cameras, Canvas & Cannon: Visual Culture of the Civil War Era
  • CWES 237: From Reconstruction to Black Lives Matter
  • CWES 245: Gettysburg to Charlottesville: Race in the American Imagination
  • CWES 250: Topics in Civil War Era Studies
  • CWES 310: War in the 19th Century
  • CWES 320: Aftermath: The Experience of War and “Modern” Memory
  • CWES 340: Mark Twain's Civil War
  • CWES 425: Field Experience in Civil War Era Studies

Cross-Listed Electives

  • ANTH 106: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANTH 212: Archaeology of Pennsylvania
  • ENG 237: American Realism and Naturalism
  • ENG 241: Literature of the Civil War Era
  • ENG 243: Riot, Rebellion, Revolution: The Tradition of Protest in Nineteenth-Century US Literature
  • ENG 341: American Gothic
  • ENG 404 Seminar: American Literature
  • FYS 121-3: Soldiers' Tales
  • FYS 133-3: Structures of Memory: Why we Build and Topple Monuments
  • FYS 183: Investigate the Battlefield
  • FYS 183-4: Blood on the Moon: Literature of the Civil War
  • FYS 185-3: Visualizing Emancipation: The African American Image, In and Around the Civil War
  • HIST 244: American Military History
  • HIST 245: Gender and the American Civil War
  • HIST 301: Introduction to Public History
  • HIST 339: From Old South/New South
  • HIST 343: The Early Republic
  • HIST 344: Lincoln
  • HIST 345: Civil War & Reconstruction
  • HIST 346: Slavery, Rebellion, and Emancipation in the Atlantic World
  • HIST 347: Gettysburg in History & Memory
  • HIST 351: Social Protest in the Nineteenth Century
  • IDS 217: The American Civil War on Film