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Civil War Diaries
A day in the life, during the Civil War.
For 5th grade Social Studies.

Please choose a "character" from the list provided below, and use the links provided on the Civil War links page to find out about them.  For example, if you choose a soldier, look at links at what life was like on the battlefield.  If you choose a Army nurse, see what their responsibilities and daily activities were like.  Feel free to use www.google.com or another search engine to do additional research.
 
Using the knowledge you have, pretend to be that character and make up information about them.  What is your name?  How old are you?  Where do you live?  What do you feel about the war?  Do you have a family, and if you're away from them, do you miss them?
Using both the factual and fictional stories, write a page from your diary and write about what a day in their life would be like.
 
Some examples of "characters" you can choose (although you are free to create your own!) are:
~ A soldier in the Union Army
~ A soldier in the Confederate Army
~ Freed Slave who lives in the North
~ Army doctor/nurse on the battlefield
~ Slave who works on a plantation in the South
~ Plantation owner/ Wife of plantation owner in the South
~ Family member of a soldier who is away at war
 
For example, if you're a freed slave who lives in the north, even thought you are now free from slavery, do you have family that still are slaves down south?  Maybe you're having trouble finding work because you're African-American, and you're frustrated about that.  How do you feel about the war?  Do you think you'll join the army?  Maybe you want to join the army and help the war effort, but you don't want to discriminated against by being put into a "colored unit."
Think about what these people would do with their days, whether it was fighting, working with the soldiers, working on their farms or plantations, writing to their loved ones, or grieving for the loss of a family member due to the war.
Really try and think about how the events going on around you are affecting how you feel about things.

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