page contains the hook only. It is intended to spark interest
in the topic and lead students to ask questions or make predictions.
ever wondered what life would have been like for you had you lived
during another era?
we learn what it was like during that time?
with your classmates or by yourself a letter that was written
August 15, 1862. What was happening in the United
States during the early 1860s?
was written by Thomas Garber to his sister Addie. From reading
the letter what have we learned about Thomas and Addie? Can you
answer any of the following questions based on what you read in
you think Thomas was afraid?
you think Thomas missed his family?
do you think was Thomas' job in the army?
old do you think Thomas was when he wrote this letter?
Can you explain
or justify your answers with evidence from the letter?
of the Shadow web site contains information about the Civil
War that you might not have seen before - information about regular
people like us. Letters, diaries, newspaper articles, census reports,
and many other things can help you figure out what the Civil War
would have been like for you had you been alive during the 1860s.
might ask similar but different questions than those listed here.
The more students are guided to ask specific questions, the less
inquiry-oriented the activity.
for this activity is to have students investigate how the American
Civil War affected the lives of regular people, not just Presidents
and famous Generals.
have just read a letter written by what appears to be an everyday
confederate soldier fighting in the Civil War. Students could
be led to ask overarching questions similar to:
was life like during the Civil War for the average family?
was it like to be a teenager during the Civil War?
learned a little bit about Thomas Garber and his family, students
might also have some specific questions about the Garbers that
when answered will shed light on the larger questions above:
Thomas killed in the war?
Thomas have other brothers and sisters?
were Thomas' parents?
students have asked questions related to the topic, they will
need to make decisions regarding a number of things, including:
of data needed to answer the questions
tools for data manipulation
how data will be manipulated and presented
Type(s) of Data
might not be entirely aware of all the different type(s) of information
available to them in the Valley
of the Shadow archive. It might be beneficial to introduce
them to the various primary sources available to them in the archive
so that they can decide what to investigate. It is possible that
they will include in their search:
- and possibly
In the example
shown below, letters and census records are investigated.
primary sources being investigated were created in 1860, it is
possible that terms encountered may have to be defined during
the activity. Students should be prepared to look up anything
they do not understand.
will be exposed to a great deal of information during their investigation.
In addition to class discussion they will need some way to organize
this information and their thoughts.
a concept map might be appropriate, or
a KWL chart might be helpful.
For the examples
shown on this web page a concept map is used.
If a KWL
is being used, after each document is investigated students should
reexamine what they Know, what they Want to know,
and what they've Learned.
a concept map, the map should be added to and/or altered
after each document is investigated.
is often a giant leap from defining the type(s) of data desired
and actually finding the data. Providing guidance to students
in finding the necessary data may be necessary.
this activity just to within the materials provided in the Valley
of the Shadow archive will be more than sufficient. Students
will get the opportunity to perform historical inquiry using a
variety of resources.
In the hook,
a letter was read that shed insight into the life of Thomas
Garber. This is a great opportunity for students to start a
concept map which might look something like this:
Example of concept map created after reading
usually has to be manipulated before it can answer any questions.
Students might be unaware of how data can best be manipulated,
so teacher guidance may be appropriate.
Search the 1860
Some of the
questions asked about the Garbers can be answered using census
records. For example, we could do a search of the 1860 Augusta County census on Thomas Garber.
Results of 1860 census search for "Thomas
was 14 years old in 1860, then we students can reason that he
was 16 years old, give or take a few months, when he wrote
Addie in 1862.
record gives us Thomas' family number. This allows us to
do a search on his entire family. By going back to the census
search page to do an advanced search of the 1860 census on Thomas' family,
we learn a great deal about the Garbers.
search on Garber family in 1860 census
of search on Garber family in 1860 census
things are learned from this search, including the ages of all
of Thomas' family members, his fathers worth, whether or not Thomas
and his siblings went to school during the previous year, etc.
The concept map can now be adjusted and might look something
of adjusted concept map
Search the 1860
There is also a slave
owner census. Searching the slave owner census tells us that
Thomas' father, Arthur, owned 2 male and 2 female slaves.
census search results
the 1860 Census
does doing a search
of the 1870 census tell us about the Garbers? Unfortunately,
the family number isn't the same as in 1860, so doing a search
of the 1870 Augusta County census on Albert Garber yields a family
number of 686.
the family number for the 1870 census known, we could do an advanced
search of the 1870 census on the Garber family:
Search on Garber family in
Results of search on Garber family in 1870
has happened to the Garber family as a result of the war?
It is clear that Albert's estate values were significantly hurt
by the war. The family has changed as well, but just because all
the sons and daughters aren't listed in the census doesn't mean
they were killed in the war. They might have moved.
of the Letters
big question that students will likely want to pursue is what
happened to Thomas during the war? The Garber family letters answer this question for us.
Specifically, the letter written by Lewis
Harman to Addie Garber, July 20, 1863 tells us of Thomas'
the Concept Map
this point, the concept map should be added to reflect our new
knowledge about the Garbers. Concepts should also be organized
and perhaps connected to show relationships, moving the students
closer to answering the overarching questions.
Example of completed concept map
result is meaningful unless communicated appropriately. Discussion
of findings should be supported. There may or may not be definitive
answers to the questions students raised.
their inquiry, students should construct historical
narratives, accounts, or presentations that result from their
historical inquiry. There might not necessarily be right and wrong
constructions. Depending upon the information gathered, different
students might present accounts that represent differing perspectives.
could be presented in a variety of ways, including:
story - Students create a dramatized short story as a vehicle
for understanding historical events, themes, or personalities
- Example: Students write a short story
about the Garber brothers encounters with Stonewall Jackson
and Robert E. Lee as they fought during the war. Included
in the short story are elements of the things learned during
diary - Students write a daily account from the point of
view of a particular individual in a specific time and place.
By doing so, students develop an understanding of a particular
time and place or of a specific individual.
Students write a diary kept by Thomas or Addie Garber during
Included in the diary are specific
references to other family members and other things learned
during their investigation.
Diaries - Students write the diaries of two people in specific
times and places, comparing and contrasting the two individuals,
places, and/or periods in history.
write a diary from the perspectives of Thomas Garber during
the Civil War and an Afghan teenager in 2002 fighting for
the Afghan Northern Alliance. Included in the diaries are
parallel representations of a wars' impact on the family.
often lead to new questions, starting the inquiry cycle over again.
this activity, students likely learned a number of things about
the Garbers, a southern family living during the Civil War. Students
might now have other questions related to this era, such as:
- How did
the Civil War affect the lives of Franklin County (i.e. Northern)
- What was
the role of African-Americans during the Civil War, for both
the North and for the South?
for other families to search:
Kennedy, an Irish born farmer with a large family
Stewart, a seamstress and a single parent
Moore, a sixteen year old seamstress
Campbell, a wealthy black barber
of W. Cochran, a free black shoemaker