Ashley Levi EDCI 5314
Introduction Imagine that you are sitting by a campfire and all you have to eat is a small cracker and a cup of coffee. You have been marching for days and have not seen your family in many months. The only comfort that you have is the idea of seeing your family and hearing from them by letter. Soldiers’ letters during the Civil War were a way for soldiers to express their fears and inner thoughts about the war. Diaries and letters that were preserved are a great way to learn about the Civil War through the eyes of those who were in battle.
Task You are going to become a soldier during the Civil War. You are going to create five letters to your family. You can be a soldier from either the North or South. Through out the letters you have to incorporate the following ideas: • Major Battle(s) • Which Company you are in and your Commander • Condition of Camps • Medical Issues • Family
Process You will need to read some letters written by actual soldiers of the Civil War. You need to analyze how they are written, who they are written to, and what they are saying. • Newton Scott • William Hogan • William Smith Hanger Baylor • Charles B. Carter One strategy to use when analyzing the letters is to create web and connect the key points of the letter to the individual soldier. After analyzing actual soldier letters then you need to start to create a list of what components you want in your letters. You need to decide on such things as major battles, companies, commanders, and medical issues. • Battle of Gettysburg • Battle of Chancellorsville • Battle of Antietam
Process continued • Army of Northern Virginia • Army of the Potomac • Civil War Medicine and Diseases • Civil War Medicine After researching needed items, you can write your letters in a personal letter format. They are to be one page in length. You will also need to provide a bibliography of sources used to create your letters.
Evaluation Your grade will be based on the completion of the following items: • 5 letters, all a full page in length • Contain a Major Battle • Name of Company in an Army • Appropriate names of Commanders • Explanation of Camp Life • Medical Conditions • Mention of Family • Accurate Dates and Information • Completed Bibliography • Correct Spelling and Grammar usage
Evaluation continued Grading: A: All requirements are completed. The writer provides detailed accounts and uses other elements besides the ones required in the letters. The letters are made relevant and interesting. B: 75% of requirements are completed. The letters are a little disorganized and have grammar errors. Turned in late. Connections made are shakey and need some touching up. C: 50% of requirements are completed. The letters do not fully connect. There are grammar errors in all the letters. The letters are not made interesting and don’t make sense. D: Only a minimal amount of the requirements are completed. It is sloppy with errors in majority of the letters. There was no effort put forth with its creation.
Conclusion A soldier’s life gives so much more feeling and color to a war. They are the ones who suffer day in and day out. They endure the wounds, disease, and heartache more so than anyone else. After completing these letters you should feel as the soldiers did and you can further appreciate the impact this great war has had on our culture and why our nation has changed the ways it has. You can also further understand why the Civil War is still important to many people today through museums, historical societies, and reenactments. These letters were from people like you and me, with very similar morals and pride for their country.
Teacher Page This webquest would be appropriate for any age level that is studying the Civil War. I do think that an age range of about seventh grade and above would appreciate it the most because some the soldiers’ letters can have some rough language and the grammar can be difficult to read. Also at the age level the students can further appreciate what the soldiers had to endure during the many years of the war more so then younger students. Standards of Learning: • The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by d) describing the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Frederick Douglass in events leading to and during the war. • The student will demonstrate knowledge of the causes, major events, and effects of the Civil War by f) describing the effects of war from the perspectives of Union and Confederate soldier (including black soldiers), women, and slaves.