Civil War Essay Contest Winners at the 2018 Lincoln Prize

The 2018 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize will be awarded this evening to Edward L. Ayers for his new book, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, at the Union League Club in New York City. A highlight of this event each year is the attendance of the Gilder Lehrman Civil War Essay Contest winners, each of whom receives an expenses-paid trip to the ceremony. 

This annual contest is open students in grades 6–12 and asks them to examine the nation’s most divisive conflict through letters, speeches, songs, photographs, newspapers, military orders, and other primary sources. Winners are awarded for essays at the middle school and high school level, in addition to a new documentary film category added this year.

Here is the first place documentary by Eliza Spinna (Stuyvesant High School, NY): “Landscape Painting: A Reflection of the National Psyche during the Civil War.”

Visit this page to see the full list of Civil War Essay Contest winners and view each of the prize-winning student documentaries.

Learn more about the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize and see the full list of finalists here.