Have you ever wondered what life would have been like for you had you lived during another era?

What era intrigues you?

How could we learn what it was like during that time?

Read aloud 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?

The letter 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 the letter?

  • Do you think Thomas was afraid?
  • Do you think Thomas missed his family?
  • What do you think was Thomas' job in the army?
  • How old do you think Thomas was when he wrote this letter?

Can you explain or justify your answers with evidence from the letter?


The Valley 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.