This video was filmed on April 5, 2012 as part of the National Geographic Live! Lecture series at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.


Author Winston Groom writes that Shiloh was the first battle in the United States Civil War that shocked Americans into seeing how long and how terrible the war would become. A well-educated, outspoken member of a politically prominent family in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Josie Underwood (1840-1923) left behind one of the few intimate accounts of the Civil War written by a southern woman sympathetic to the U.S., despite living in a Confederate state in rebellion.


  • Who was Josie Underwood? (start-00:35 min.)
  • Passage from Josie Underwood's diary: March 1,1862 (00:36-00:59 min.)
  • Casualties during the Civil War (01:00-01:15 min.)
  • Passage from Josie Underwood's diary: April 15, 1862 (01:16-01:24 min.)
  • Background of Josie Underwood (01:25-02:03 min.)
  • Passage from Josie Underwood's diary: Sept 3, 1862 (02:04-02:16 min.)
  • Harsh realities of the Civil War (02:17-02:37 min.) 



Strategies for Using Video in a Variety of Learning Environments

  • Have students preview several of the videos and choose the one they find most inspiring. Have students describe in writing a conversation they might have with the speaker(s).
  • Freeze the video on a relevant image. Have students observe details in the still image and jot down predictions of what the full video might address. Discuss students’ ideas before and after watching the video.
  • Pose an open-ended question before students watch the video, and have them discuss their ideas before and after in small groups.
  • Have students determine what they think the key message of this video is. Was the speaker effective in getting his or her message across?
  • Show a short clip to engage students during class, and then have students watch the full video at home and write a paragraph responding to the content or a question you give them.
  • Have students note statements that represent facts or opinions, including where it’s difficult to tell the difference. What further research might help distinguish facts and opinions? How might the speaker’s viewpoint compare with others’ viewpoints about a topic?
civil rights
Plural Noun

set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.

Civil War

(1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).


personal journal of everyday events.