February 13, 2007
Mud Keeps Secret of Civil War Rifles, Living History in the School, Events, A Wilson Greene Scholarship
Civil War Preservation Trust Teacher Newsletter
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Mud Keeps Secret of Civil War Rifles:
X-ray Reveals Little of Soggy Crate of Guns
By Mike Toner, 01/31/2007
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
The powerful industrial X-ray machine at Delta Air Line's Technical Operations Center can spot hairline cracks through 3 inches of hardened steel. Seeing through a century and a half of mud Tuesday proved to be another matter.
With anxious archaeologists, conservators and technicians watching, 21st-century technology met its match in a soggy, sediment-laden crate of Civil War-era rifles.
"It doesn't look promising," Josh Headlee of the Georgia Department Natural Resources preservation lab said with a shake of his head as he looked at the faint, barely decipherable X-ray images.
"I guess if we want to find out what we've got, we'll have to start digging down a layer at a time."
The rare, intact case of 24 Enfield rifles, which spent more than a century beneath the waters of Charleston Harbor, were recently acquired by the DNR for exhibition at Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill.
With as many as a million of the British and Belgian-made Enfields used by both sides in the Civil War, individual Enfields - prized for their accuracy and serviceability - are not a rare commodity.
Only three intact cases of the popular single-shot weapon, however, are known.
These rifles, destined for use by Confederate forces, were aboard a blockade-runner, the CSS Stono, when the ship sank in Charleston Harbor in 1864.
The rifles were salvaged by divers more than a decade ago but have been held, untouched, in a state-operated storage facility ever since.
Although storage in water has prevented further deterioration of the rifles, before they can go on display they must be excavated from the case to undergo permanent preservation.
Before starting the process, state officials were hoping to get an X-ray im age of the waterlogged mass of wood, iron, brass and leather to serve as a road map for the work.
Delta volunteered the use of its X-ray equipment. State officials jumped at the opportunity. Bomb-sniffing dogs had certified the case free of any live munitions.
Then came the X-rays - so faint that even experts had trouble discerning the outline of the guns from the sediment that had filled the case while it lay on the bottom of Charleston harbor.
"It would have been nice to see what we have before we start work," said Kate Singley, a private conservator from Atlanta, who will do the conservation work.
"Instead, we're going to have to excavate a little bit at a time - with dental drills and Waterpiks."
Since February through May are the biggest months for studying the American Civil War, I thought you would appreciate this article. When you study this dramatic time period, please consider bringing reenactors/ living historians into your classroom.
When "Private Watkins" marches into LA classrooms, the Civil War leaps out of the history books. In the spring, Jon Monastero brings his gun to school. It's a nineteenth-century replica rifle, and he fires it off on the playground. The kids love it.
The musket demonstration is part of Monastero's living-history presentation for eighth graders, a presentation he delivers in the guise of an army private named John Watkins.
Monastero, half of the Los Angeles-based comedy duo Ten West, taught for seven years at Santa Monica's Lincoln Middle School, five of those as an eighth-grade U.S. h istory teacher. He says his year-end Civil War unit kept growing into an increasingly elaborate history lesson: "I would divide the class into regiments. We would play reveille for roll call. It just kept getting bigger and bigger, until I found myself reenacting Pickett's Charge, with 180 eighth graders carrying broomsticks and flags."
…His visits range from one to three days and start with an "Ask the Soldier" question-and-answer period, which Monastero says almost always extends beyond the allotted twenty minutes and can end up filling the entire first day. "At first, the students are a little giggly," he says. "But it's incredible how quickly they get sucked in, and they end up asking really great questions."
In addition to the Q&A, Monastero brings props for interactive demonstrations: The students can see his period canteen and mess kit and sample some hardtack, and one lucky student volunteer g ets to be on the receiving end of a mock bayoneting.
Monastero also has a PowerPoint presentation that focuses on teenagers in the Civil War and includes period music and Library of Congress photos of teenage soldiers. "The kids always connect right away," he says. "These photos of kids on the battlefield -- kids who are roughly their own age -- really get them to reflect on war: what it means, and what its implications and consequences are for humans."
As a finale to the unit, he takes the students outside and teaches them how to march and drill like Civil War soldiers, and at the end discharges the musket with a burst of black smoke.
Jeff Schwartz, an eighth-grade U.S. history teacher at Lincoln (where Monastero used to teach), says Private Watkins's presentation gives students "something they don't get from a textbook. Jon is a living story, and he talks about these events as if he's lived them, and it brings home the reality of the war. It's tangible history. When Jon shows up in character, in full regalia, they have the chance to really experience the things they've read about."
Monastero always lets schools choose whether they'd like him to play a Union trooper or a Confederate soldier. Nine times out of ten, he says, they choose the Southern persona. He says the character gives the teachers and students more opportunity to delve into some of the historical complexities of the war. For example, Private Watkins is a pretty likable guy, and he's also a poor farmer who does not own slaves, paradoxes that usually prompt students to ask pointed and critical questions.
This coming spring, Schwartz's department at Lincoln plans to bring Monastero back for a third visit. Word has traveled from last year's class, and already, Schwartz says, the new class is anticipating Private Watkins's arrival: "The new eighth graders ask, 'Is that guy gonna come and shoot the gun?' His reputation precedes him.'"
Rob Baedeker is a writer and performer living in Berkeley, California. He is a former college English instructor and the author, with the Kasper Hauser comedy group, of SkyMaul: The Catalog Parody.
For more information about Jon Monastero's Civil War living-history presentations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
2007 BATTLE ANNIVERSARY ESSAY COMPETITION
This contest is open to students in middle (6-8th grade) and high school (9-12th grade). Students may write about one of the following three topics:
Topic #1 - How important was the fall of the city of Atlanta during the Atlanta Campaign to the outcome of the election of 1864?
Topic #2 - Explain the importance of the railroads to both the Union and Confederate Armies in the Atlanta Campaign.
Topic #3 - How did cavalry operations (Union and Confederate) impact the local civilian population during the Atlanta Campaign?
*Students may write on only one of the essay top¬ics. Multiple entries will cause neither essay to be considered.
*Middle school essays must be no fewer than 250 and no more than 600 words. High school essays must be no fewer than 700 and no mo re than 1200 words. All essays must be typewritten and double-spaced using 12-point font.
*Essays must include a bibliography and high school students’ essays should also include end¬notes and citations. Internet sources are accepted but should be properly cited.
*Each essay must include a stapled cover sheet and include your name and address, telephone number, email address (if available), current grade level, name of your school and topic chosen.
*Grammar, spelling and proper bibliographical and endnote reference formats count in the judges’ consideration.
*All essays must be postmarked by Monday, May 28, 2007. There will be no exceptions.
*Essays become property of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and will not be returned.
*Mail submissions to:
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive
Kennesaw, GA 30152
*Winners will be notified via email or mail by June 15, 2007
==> NOTE: THE KENNESAW MOUNTAIN ESSAY CONTEST IS SEPARATE FROM THE CIVIL WAR PRESERVATION TRUST POSTER & ESSAY CONTEST. The theme for the 2007 contest is SAVE CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELDS! Both winning students and their teachers receive prizes due to the generosity of The History Channel! For more information about the CWPT Poster & Essay Contest, visit www.civilwar.org/posteressaycontest.htm.
14th ANNUAL HUPP ’S HILL CHILDREN ’S DAY CAMP
The Stonewall Jackson Museum at Hupp ’s Hill is taking registrations for its 14th annual Children ’s Day Camp, which will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2007 from 9 AM to 4 PM. This is an active participation camp in which participants (ages 8 to 14) do the work of soldiers engaged in two war scenarios from both the French & Indian War and the Civil War. There is a $35 registration fee that covers the full day’s activities, including lunch. The 10th Virginia Volunteer Infantry and the Union 5th Regular Artillery, as well as the Killbuck Rifle Club, will teach the new recruits.
Stonewall Jackson Museum at Hupp ’s Hill Historic Park
3329 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg, VA 22657
540.465.5884 or email@example.com
ABRAHAM LINCOLN VISITS PAMPLIN HISTORICAL PARK
Nationally renowned Abraham Lincoln actor, James Getty, presents his award-winning one-man show *A Visit with Mr. Lincoln* on Saturday, February 17, 2007 at Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. Getty’s performance is free and open to the public at 11:00 a.m. and again at 2:00 p.m. in the Park Education Center.
Visitors to the Park can also watch costumed interpreter Wisteria Perry demonstrate 19th cen tury cooking techniques and the role of domestic slaves at the Tudor Hall Plantation kitchen throughout the day. She will present an African American storytelling program at 1:30 p.m.
Throughout African American History Month, Park visitors can experience*Many Thousands Go: African Americans and the Civil War.* This 1,500 square-foot exhibit highlighting the military and civilian experiences of African Americans on both sides of the conflict was featured on the PBS program, Virginia Currents, in November 2006. The exhibit lists the names of the twenty-five African Americans who won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, fifteen of those during the Richmond and Petersburg campaigns. *Many Thousands Go: African Americans and the Civil War* closes on May 31, 2007.
For additional information call (804) 861-2408.
And Then A.P. Hill Came Up – extensive information about this famous CS general.
The Battle of Gettysburg by Those Who Witnessed It
Note especially -- www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/sidebar/smyers.htm --
The experience of Sallie Myers, Gettysburg school teacher turned nurse, who wrote of her experiences forty years after the battle: *How A Gettysburg Schoolteacher Spent Her Vacation in 1863**
Civil War Links from homeschooling.org.
In honor of the New York towns unfortunate enough to have 10+ feet of snow right now - New York Civil War Units.
Links to Civil Wars worldwide
The deadline to apply for a scholarship to visit Pamplin Historical Park and National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is March 15, 2007. HOWEVER, there is now NO DEADLINE to apply for an outreach program, in which Pamplin Historical Park educators visit your school.
Pamplin Historical Park features three-, four-, or five-hour programs for students in grades kindergarten through 12 on a variety of historic subjects. In 2004, Pamplin Historical Park opened a new overnight educational adventure camp where students may dress in period clothes and immerse themselves in the nineteenth century. The $1,000 A. Wilson Greene Scholarship may be used for program fees at Pamplin Historical Park and for travel expenses including lodging, food, and transportation for students and chaperones. At the discretion of CWPT any unused funds from the $1,000 award left over after the winning class has completed the field trip may be donated back to the school for unrestricted educational purposes.
Teachers may also choose to have Park educators travel to their schools for an educational outreach program. These standards-based programs teach students a variety of topics about the political and social currents that led to Southern session and about Civil War soldier life. Each program is one hour long and designed for one class at a time. Up to $500 in scholarship funds may be used to offset program fees and travel costs for Park educators to visit a school. Schola rship funded outreach programs are available anytime except the months of March, April and May.
To learn more about the program visit www.civilwar.org/historyctandclassrm.htm; to learn more about Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, visit www.pamplinpark.org.
A. How many Iowans became Union generals in the Civil War?
B. What was the prewar vocation of colorful and controversial Maj. Gen. Edward Ferrero, USA?
C. Who was Champ Ferguson?
D. What was the CSS Pioneer?
E. What other name is often given to the battle of Brandy Station, VA, June 9, 1863?
Feel free to pass this information along to fellow teachers. If you need more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEACHER INSTITUTE: Save the date - Chattanooga, TN: July 20-22, 2007. Our event site will be the Sheraton Read House, and we will visit sites in the Chickamauga/Chattanooga area. For more information, visit
CURRICULUM CD-ROM: Download at the link below, or e-mail to get a free copy.
Receive the monthly classroom newsletter and quarterly Hallowed Ground magazine. You also receive a packet of classroom materials, curriculum CD-ROM & *Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation & Am erica's First National Military Parks*. To sponsor a classroom - or receive an application to give to a potential sponsor - please contact me. You may also request a sample newsletter!
EDUCATION WEB SITE:
CIVIL WAR EXPLORER:
POSTER & ESSAY CONTEST:
Both winning students AND their teachers are rewarded!
ADOPT A BATTLEFIELD: Your classroom can save battlefields while learning about their history! Contact me for background information on the progra m in general and for a preview of contents. Site packs include Antietam, Appomattox, Fredericksburg, Trevilian Station, Perryville, Peninsula Campaign and Harpers Ferry.
TRAVELING TRUNK: For the 2007/2008 school year, rent a trunk of hands-on materials and teaching tools to help your Civil War unit. February, March, April and May book extremely quickly.
A. WILSON GREENE SCHOLARSHIP - earn money towards a field trip to Pamplin Historical Park and National Museum of the Civil War Soldier (Petersburg, VA) - or have them visit your school. E-mail for details.
For English/Reading class in primary/middle grades - sentence order activity
ON-THE-ROAD SIGHTINGS! CWPT will be at the NCHE conference in Williamsburg, April 2007. Look for us there!
Till next time, take care and stay in touch.
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A. Three. Samuel Curtis (West Point graduate), Grenville M. Dodge (engineer and railroad builder), and Francis Herron (banker). Also note that Shelby Norman (Muscatine, IA) was the first Iowan to die in battle, and Cyrus Lichty (Cedar Falls) was the youngest Iowan to serve in the war (as a drummer boy; he survived until 1940). www.iowanationalgu ard.com/Museum/IA_History/CivilWar.htm
B. He was the dance instructor to West Point cadets. (PAGE 220, Civil War Trivia and Fact Book) To learn more, visit http://aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=41. After the war he resumed his career as a dance teacher and ballroom operator.
C. He was the head of a body of Confederate irregulars (Visit http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articles/ArticleView.cfm?AID=68
to learn more about irregulars). (PAGE 226, CW T&FB) Capt. Ferguson was a principal figure in the Saltville, VA massacre of Federal black troops.
D. It was a prototype submarine built by the CSA in 1861-1862. It never saw action because it was scuttled by the Confederates to prevent its capture following the fall of New Orleans. (PAGE 267, CWT&FB) To learn more, visit http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/submarine/sub_pioneer.htm.
E. The battle of Fleetwood Hill. (PAGE 217, CWT&FB) Also see www.cr.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/va035.htm. CWPT helped preserved land at this site - see www.civilwar.org/travelandevents/t_vs_brandystation.htm.
CORRECTION: in the last update, Col. Herman Haupt was listed as a Pennsylvanian who served the Confederacy. I apologize as my source was incorrect. Herman Haupt did NOT serve the Confederacy. In fact, he served as chief of construction and transportation on the United States military railroads. www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1985/2/1985_2_54.shtml
Civil War Preservation Trust
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You can out-distance that which is running
after you, but not what is running inside you.