This study of the lives of Civil War Women surveys the female child by using a popular collection of children’s fiction.
The American Girls Collection-The Addy Series.
This study also views the lives of two southern girls through their diaries researched as part of the on-line Special Collections Library, Duke University. Also a reading of three other children’s books will be included.(
When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
by Barry Denenberg,
Nettie’s Trip South
by Ronald Himler and
Who Comes With Cannons?
by Patricia Beatty
The diary of
of Gallatin, Tennessee and the diary of
of Atlanta, Georgia give insight into the concerns and experiences of female children during this time. The students again, as earlier in this unit can actually read the diaries in the handwriting of the authors.
Alice Williamson paints a very disturbing picture of the Union occupation of Gallatin and the very unwarranted killings and general unfair treatment of the southern males in that community. Alice writes of a town trying to go about its customary tasks while harassed and tormented by an over-powerful union captain and his soldiers.
The children get some idea of the rules and procedures of schools during this time as they read about dunce caps, benches, studying and examinations. They will be able to discover schools being set up to educate the freed black slaves and the opposition to this effort by the people of the south.
, the second diarist, is only 10 years old and tells of a frightening life in Atlanta. The children can imagine what it would feel like to have shells passing through your house causing you to spend a great deal of time in the cellar. Carrie writes on the day of her birthday how she can’t have a cake but she celebrates with ironing “I hope by my next birthday we will have peace in our land so that I can have a nice dinner”(Special Collections Library of Duke University)
Carrie writes of moving to get closer to the center of the city where it is safer. She writes of being bored with no school or church because of the war. She writes of helping her mother, visiting her aunt, and playing with her dolls. Christmas is the center of Carrie’s writing as the days of December move on in her diary. This gives the children a very clear picture of feeling poor, making presents, and the excitement of going out in the cold and getting a Christmas Tree. Carrie’s Christmas activities are written vividly and will bring the times of the child’s life into the circle of the students lives.
Carrie writes about starting school. She writes about studying her six “line” of the multiplication table. She relates having a contest with her friends to see who can learn the most arithmetic, spelling, reading, and geography. Again a child’s daily activities connect the children of today with the children of the past, helping to join together the study of history with the children’s current experiences.
The thread woven throughout this study constant and steady is the whole class reading of the
. These six books will be read, discussed, written about, and lessons developed and implemented to give students hands-on history.
These six books, which are historical fiction, tell the story of Addy Walker, a nine year old girl born into slavery, who escapes during the Civil War to freedom in Philadelphia. The children will follow two inseparable themes throughout the six books. The drive for freedom and the importance of family will be at the center of the lessons which help the children connect themselves to this difficult period in history. The author, Connie Porter, writes to the children that she hopes that her writing gives a voice to people who might otherwise be voiceless. The Addy Books, with related projects and lessons include at the end of this unit will allow students to discover throughout the character and adventures of Addy the country during the Civil and post Civil War. The children will be engaged in reading while integrating history with the other objectives designated by the Curriculum Frameworks of the New Haven Public Schools