PDF Muskets and Memories: A Modern Mans Journey through the Civil War

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From this point, the battle escalated until the full strength of both armies was committed. After his defeat, Lee withdrew his army behind the Potomac River to Virginia. The Union victory at Gettysburg increased northern morale.

American Civil War

It gave new hope that the Confederacy could be defeated and the nation reunited. Drill and camp duties, fatigue during campaign marches, and a host of emotions — from boredom to homesickness to anxiety — comprised most of their days. While in camp, two soldiers usually shared a tent and their personal belongings. Soldiers were responsible for maintaining their wool uniforms, muskets, and a cartridge box with ammunition.

The soldier carried tin cups, eating utensils, and plates for the daily food rations issued by the quartermaster. The food in camp consisted of hardtack, dried meats, beans, salt pork and coffee. Soldiers kept personal items such as diaries, letters from home, and pictures of loved ones in their tents, or wrapped within their bedrolls on the march. Life in camp required soldiers to drill, stand watch, and perform regular military duties.

When not performing military duties, soldiers came up with simple and creative ways to entertain themselves. From playing cards to checkers, Civil War soldiers played basic games with each other in order to pass the time. They also used their time to adapt objects found on the battlefield like wood and bones into objects they wanted and needed like forks, dice, and buttons.

While the soldiers played their games and mended their clothes, music was a welcome pastime in an otherwise dull camp life. Photography The Civil War represents the first photographically documented war in American history.

400,000 BC

The technology of photography was not yet highly developed at this time. Photographers needed their subjects to sit still or without movement for several minutes. While early photography had its limitations, it captured remarkable images of devastation and death on the battlefield as well as images of soldiers relaxing and entertaining themselves in camp. It allows historians and students to gain an immediate and tangible understanding of the daily life of Civil War soldiers.

Cavalry — Soldiers who travelled on horseback, scouting the enemy and screening their own army. They also fought in engagements with other cavalry or dismounted against infantry as well.

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Enlisted man — A member of the military whose rank is below a commissioned officer. Goober Peas — Refers to peanuts, a staple of Southern agriculture. It is also the title of a folk song from the American Civil War popular in the South, Haversack — The cloth pack soldiers used to carry their belongings and food rations. It was often tarred to withstand weather and carried over one shoulder.

Campaign — A series of battles. In between the battles, soldiers marched all day in the hot sun along dusty roads, or in the rain along muddy roads, carrying their heavy equipment.

Union Civil War Casualties

Infantry — The main fighting branch of a Civil War army. Often called foot soldiers, the infantry traveled on foot and fought with a musket-rifle. Officer — A member of the military whose rank allows him to command enlisted men. Students will able to identify the feelings associated with battle and waiting around in camp during the Civil War. Students will be analyze Civil War music and determine which emotions are elicited. Objects Background: The class will examine two Civil War images and two written excerpts that provide contrasting views of the Civil War: the boredom of camp and the chaos of battle.

For the chaos of battle, two photographs were taken following battles.


For the boredom of camp life, the photographs show officers and soldiers sitting around and playing cards. The written source is an diary from Thomas M. Smiley that describes the life in camp. Students share their responses with a partner and discuss the following:. Specifically, students should be instructed to identify and underline terms and phrases that exemplify the chaos of battle and monotony of camp. See resource section for Civil War music.

Springfield Muskets before the Civil War - 1842 - 1855

The class completes a t-chart see below together that identifies lines within the song that support these two emotions of soldier life. Objects Background: Students focus on the blood-stained diary of Alfred S. Alfred S. Planck served in Company H of the 18th Michigan Infantry. A week prior to this lesson, have students write several lines each day for 7 days, recording their daily lives.

At unit start, brief students on how diaries help historians understand people and events of the past. Based on their seven-day diaries, students individually analyze diaries and note the following:. Students will later compare and contrast Civil War diaries with their own to explore parallels as well as examine the role of diaries in helping us to understand multiple perspectives for one event and time period. Students move into small groups. Supply each group with a color copy of the Alfred S. Rowe and H. Planck diaries. Students complete the chart below individually, before and after their diary readings, and then together they discuss the similarities and differences between the two diaries.

Complete individually or as a class. Planck Diaries. What do you think you are going to read about?

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Each student completes a chart like the one below, before and after they read their individual excerpts. Then, students assess their historic diary entry, filling in the first column of a chart like the one below rows can be, of course, added as needed :. Objectives: Students will be able to analyze icons, symbols, and images that motivated Civil War soldiers. Students will be able to communicate, via an epitaph, the political and personal values of at least one soldier. Objects Background: The class will review letters written by Jacob L. For this lesson, students will focus on stationary iconography rather than on the text of the letters, utilizing Handout 3.

Teacher passes around various state quarters and asks the class to identify symbols and words on the quarters. Limit the selection to a few states, but include the state where the school is located, if possible. View quarters on screen with the class and discuss their symbols, text and meaning. Ask students to surmise why these things were selected to represent that state. As Nashville, TN is the home of country music, the state opted to honor their musical heritage and feature musical instruments on their state quarter, including a horn, fiddle and guitar, as well as music sheets.

Then, each student should design both sides of a quarter about themselves using 5-inch round heavy stock paper.

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Each student should explain their design and its symbolism to the class. The class constructs a master list of the political and personal values of Civil War soldiers using their answers to the questions above,. They should select a soldier whose history, values and beliefs are evident. Lesson Four : The Life of Officers versus the Life of Enlisted Men Objectives: Students will be able to compare and contrast the day-to-day life of enlisted men and officers. Students will be able to analyze photographs to identify the differences in camp life between the military ranks.

Objects Background: Students examine two photographs of staged exhibits that illustrate life in camp for enlisted men and officers. Students will work with the following images:. Students identify each item and its function for elementary football players. Then, discuss how these items differ from the equipment for professional football players.

Each group creates a packing list for the articles in their tent. Partners determine if the items belong in the packing list for officers, enlisted men, or both and explain their rationale. After examining the tents and completing these exercises, discuss the following with the class:. Students then add a title to the photograph and label three objects that support their designation as well as a one-sentence rationale for each item circled.

Objectives: Students will be able to identify innovations created by Civil War soldiers in camp. Students will be able to create an alternative use for an item of their choosing. Objects Background: Civil War objects used in this lesson demonstrate how innovative soldiers were during the Civil War, and include:. Teacher now relates the modern objects in Activity 1 with the Civil War equivalent.

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