P365 – Day 75 (More Civil War)

Once again Joshua proved to be an able teacher (I mean assistant) in my Civil War class. Really, I would feel guilty if he didn’t have so much fun preparing and planning the class. Really. Just because I spent the evening watching a movie and cutting out little vegetables for the kindergarteners instead of working all night on Civil War plans is no reason to doubt my sincerity. It was hard cutting out those veggies. All those edges in the lettuce leaves. Whew.

This week we studied the Battle of Gettysburg. Joshua drew an elaborate map of the terrain and mounted it to a large piece of plywood.

civil war map

It’s best not to look too closely at those toy soldiers since some of them are holding assault rifles and bazookas.

Joshua gave me a list of the 11 or 12 generals who played primary roles in the three day battle and I wrote them on 3×5 cards. It’s hard work being the assistant for such a slave driver (ooo, bad pun for a Civil War class, sorry, it was unintended). Joshua assigned the generals to the kids in our class and gave them toy soldiers (each plastic soldier represented one thousand Union or Confederate soldiers).

explaining the battle

Joshua is an excellent teacher. If he had any desire to be in charge, he could easily overthrow my position and run the class himself. Thankfully he is (mostly) content to lead from behind the wings. Today, as we went through the battle, Joshua explained details from the campaign. The casualties from Gettysburg were unbelievable – over 50,000 men dead. I’m not sure the students could really grasp such high numbers. I’m not sure that I can wrap my head around such a tragedy happening right here on American soil.

class picture

These aren’t a bunch of ‘dummies.’

Joshua found the Civil War for Dummies book at the library and used it to help bring the battle to life for us.

A few things we discussed today in class:

1) One of the generals, Gen. Sickles, was hit in the leg by a cannonball. The leg had to be amputated but was preserved by medical personnel. After his recovery, Sickles donated the bones and the cannonball to the Army Medical Museum in Washington – where it continues on display at that facility located at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. What a great guy! Actually he was a bit of a rogue and rascal but we can only cover so much each week.

2) General Stuart, considered to be General Lee’s eyes and ears, misinterpreted orders during the Gettysburg Campaign. He took a wrong turn and didn’t show up until the second day of battle, leaving Lee blinded in enemy territory. Oops.

3) Some say the battle was started because Confederates went into town looking for shoes. Hard to move barefoot troops at a brisk pace, all those thorns and rocks slow people down.

In my opinion, it is these kinds of details and quirky facts that make history come alive. Thank you, Joshua, for running the class. You were a great general, directing the armies. :)

At the close of class we read the Gettysburg Address. I was very moved by Abraham Lincoln’s speech. The idea of facing such incredible losses and then encouraging people to continue to fight to hold the country together is so powerful.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln


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7 thoughts on “P365 – Day 75 (More Civil War)”

  1. Now you know I am up too late!

    I love your blog, Kathy, you have definitely made it a pleasurable read whether funny or serious.

    So onto important matters: this line stands out to me, “All those edges in the lettuce leaves. Whew.” Bwahahahaha!!! I had a little belly laugh over that, thank you for the heart massage! Your hands were offered in an act of living sacrifice for sure, especially if you used big scissors. If the scissors were small it’s still a sacrifice but you know what I mean about big scissors and little edges…that might be a bigger sacrifice.

    Cheers for Joshua! He is an interesting young man with so much to offer.
    I’m sure Brigette and Abby loved his (I mean your..) class!

    Look at this, I’ll have to start my own blog just to respond to yours!

    Good Night

  2. Very impressive lesson. Good for you, Joshua. I hope you do much more in the teaching field–clearly you are a natural!! You remind me of some Sniders I know and love- preparation is VITAL.

    Katherine, you look beautiful in the picture with the class. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were one of the kids.

    Love you all, AK

  3. Way to go, Joshua! Super job! Isn’t it great mom, you know you’ve done a great job when your kids can turn around and teach others.

  4. Jennifer – glad I was able to give you a laugh. :) Sorry I cut Brigette off in the group picture. The kids were already a bit impatient with all of my picture taking. I didn’t have the heart to make them sit for another one. I figured since she was featured in the other picture, it was okay to cut her in half for the gorup one. Ha! Hope she didn’t mind.

  5. From Landon to Joshua: Gettysburg! I’ve done several speculatives from that. I’d like to show you some of those. The only problem is that I draw them all, and it would be hard to get them onto a computer. Sometime I would really like to show them to you. Gettysburg really was a decisive battle and the turning point in the war. Your whole set-up looked really cool! I like how you used the army men, though it certainly would have been a different battle if they’d had machine guns.

  6. Linda – it sounds like our sons would enjoy each other! Too bad we live all the way across the US. Joshua has been dreaming about the Civil War these days. Just a little too focused perhaps?

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