Friday, November 30, 2007

Making the Past Personal: Autobiography and the Civil War

You are to compose an autobiographical essay--taking the identity of someone during the Civil War period--fleshing out the context of the times (taken from reading, discussion, textbook, and Glory). Another option is to write historical fiction--create your own character for the time period, and use someone's life (found in a primary source) as the basis for your story.

Perhaps you wish to be a Civil War doctor working in a field hospital, or maybe a member of the 54th Massachusetts, or an ordinary citizen who witnessed (and survived) William T. Sherman's scorched earth campaign. The possibilities are limitless.

Whatever approach you decide to take--autobiographical essay or historical fiction--you must use, quote, and cite at least one primary source in your paper. Your essay must be 12-point font, Times New Roman, 1" margins, double spaced, and at least 1 page but no more than 2 pages. Cite your lone primary source (in MLA format) at the very end of your paper. In addition, your name goes on the first line of the first page, then double space and begin your essay.

The end of your textbook contains primary documents (in the DBQ sections), or you may wish to search around for primary documents here, here, here, here, here, here, or here. See tons of Civil War pictures here. And yes, you could even take on the identity of a Civil War photographer, with all of the relevant information about photography at the time.

I look forward to see who you are on Monday.....and remember you have a Civil War/Reconstruction quiz on Tuesday.....

[For more on the photo, click here and here.]


Anonymous said...

It was cool to see the soldiers' personal diaries. They were pretty optimistic in them about winning the war. It really puts into perspective what they were thinking while they were on the battlefield

Anonymous said...

Looking at the soldiers personal diaries, you really get a clearer view of the reality of war and the effects war had on these men.

Anonymous said...

That was me
-Logan herring