Choosing Sides: Native Americans and the Civil War

How We Became America

The Untold History

Not everything worth knowing exists inside the cover of our history textbooks. This new short video series is here to fill in the gaps and bring new stories to life.

The Latest Videos

Our new group of videos in the How We Became America series relate to people and things from the Civil War. Made for students and teachers, but easy-to-consume by all, this series is designed to fill in the gaps and bring new stories to life.

Watch the latest videos below and find a full list of videos in this series here.

Civil War Hospitals

The medical hospitals established during the American Civil War helped save thousands of lives – and change how the US military cares for troops to this day. (Runtime 2:47)

Lives of the Enslaved During the Civil War

How did life change for enslaved people as the American Civil War raged around them? (Runtime 2:19)

The New South: After Reconstruction

After the American Civil War, the American South attempted a rebrand. But would it accept the progressive social and political changes of the Reconstruction Era? (Runtime 2:01)

Civil War Tactics: Shooting as Many as Possible

The Romans fought in phalanx formation. In medieval times, they preferred the wedge. So what made Civil War armies fight in long, straight lines that left them wide open to attack? (Runtime 1:59)

"10 Crucial Days" Video Still
"Language of the Revolution" Still
"Articles of Confederation" Video Still
"Common Sense" Video Still

About This Project

The first 15 videos in the How We Became America: The Untold History series was originated by the American Battlefield Trust in partnership with the Driving Force Institute for Public Engagement (DFI). We continue creating videos as a part of that partnership and add material that we alone produce. The series of 10 American Revolution videos – released to coincide with the beginning the 2021-2022 school year – is an example of the latter. Now in early 2022, we are pleased to continue our partnership with DFI with a series of Civil War content made possible with the generous financial support of the HTR Foundation. In late 2022 and 2023, with interpretation grant funding from the federal Americans for Battlefields Protection Program we will add more videos on topics associated with the American Revolution.

How We Became America: The Untold History is associated with DFI’s larger Untold initiative, which is produced and distributed by Makematic and the University of Southern California’s Center for Engagement-Driven Global Education (EDGE). How We Became America is filled with eye-catching animation based on iconic period images, plus a slightly irreverent attitude designed to show that history is dynamic.”

Made for students and teachers, but easy-to-consume by all, the series is designed to fill in the gaps and bring new stories to life. Our goal with the videos is to complement existing civics-related articlesprimary sources, and videos. Video is a compelling way for people to learn and made even more important in the age of distance learning. It’s an extremely portable format that works at home, in a classroom, on TV, and on a mobile phone.