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To Be or Not to Be: A Marriage of Civil War Descendants

1. Some of the primary sources in this lesson (Claim of B.S. Scheck and Jacob Hoke excerpt) give financial estimates of the real estate and personal losses from the Burning of Chambersburg. The worth of money in 1864, however, was not the equivalent to its worth today. An interesting economic exercise would be for students to convert the dollar amounts into today's standards. 2. What did the residents of Chambersburg do after the burning of their town? Where did they go? How did they survive with few houses left? The Valley Spirit, the newspaper of Chambersburg, published their first newspaper after the burning on August 31, 1864 (a month later). A section of the article on the Burning of Chambersburg addresses the future. Students could read the newspaper article to answer these questions. Then, they could discuss if they newspaper is an example of objective journalism or not. 3. Have students compare the Burning of Chambersburg with a current event which wrought disaster on a town. How are the events similar and how are they different? 4. There are a number of primary sources regarding the Civil War at The Valley of the Shadow, a digital project of the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia. The archive is divided into three sections The Eve of War, War Years, and The Aftermath. Choose a letter or diary from the aftermath section to explore life after the Civil War in Franklin County.

Field Trips

Gettysburg National Military Park 97 Taneytown Road Gettysburg, PA 17325-2804 Museum Educator (717) 334-1124 extension 420
To further explore the Gettysburg Campaign and Civil War, consider taking your class on a field trip to Gettysburg National Military Park. The educational opportunities and offerings are numerous. During select times of year, they run special programs for school groups to enrich student understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg and its consequences. One program, entitled Impact of War: Slyder Farm Family, focuses on the individual impact of the war on a farming family at Gettysburg. Students visit the site and role play the encounter this family had with soldiers on July 2, 1863. For a complete list of programs, visit Teacher Resources: Student Education Programs. If your class is unable to go on a field trip, you can also consider the park offerings of Distance Learning Programs and their Travel Trunk Program.

National Civil War Museum One Lincoln Circle, Reservoir Park P.O. Box 1861 Harrisburg, PA 17105-1861 (717) 260-1861
This museum offers a balanced and humanistic presentation of the entire Civil War. Advanced planning is encouraged. The specific class educational experience is left more in the hands of the teacher, with available resources and education staff to help with this process. The exhibit guide, located on the website under teacher information, is particularly helpful with an outline of academic standards that are addressed at the museum and the topics which do so.

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