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Chronological Reasoning and Causation

The Civil War Conditions on the Battlefield and the Homefront

  1. Load Confederate Call to Arms, 1861 in Main Image Viewer
  2. Load Civil War Recruitment Broadside, Lockport, c. 1863 in Main Image Viewer
  3. Load "Are You Ready to Stand by the Stars and Stripes," Broadside, c. 1860-1864 in Main Image Viewer
  4. Load Civil War Recruitment Broadside in Main Image Viewer
  5. Load Suffolk Weekly Times, Civil War Recruiting 1862 in Main Image Viewer
  6. Load Suffolk Weekly Times, Civil War Recruiting 1862 in Main Image Viewer
  7. Load Suffolk Weekly Times, Civil War Recruiting 1862 in Main Image Viewer
  8. Load Suffolk Weekly Times, Civil War Recruiting 1862 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

This lesson can be completed on Consider the Source or by using these google links: 

*Lesson is best when using the HIPPO organizer

Title: The Civil War conditions on the battlefield and the homefront

Historical Context: The American Civil War was an immense historical moment in United States history. As the war raged on both the Confederate military and American military were recruiting for soldiers.

Overview: Using documents from the Oysterponds Collection, students will analyze documents from the Civil War that showed how people reacted to the need for soldiers to fight in the Civil War.   Focusing on Close Reading and Cooperative learning, teachers will demonstrate and guide students through analyzing primary sources. 

 Goal: Introduce students to the difficulties of maintaining an Army and how people react to the need for more men in the military. 

Objectives:  Students will be able to explain how people reacted to the need for soldiers to fight in the Civil War.

Investigative (Compelling) Question: How did people on the North Fork react to young men fighting in the Civil War?

Time Required 1 class period, 45 minutes

 Recommended Grade Range 7th & 8th

 Subject: Social Studies 

Standards: 7.8e The Civil War affected human lives, physical infrastructure, economic capacity, and governance of the United States.

A. Gathering, Interpreting and Using Evidence- 4. Describe and analyze arguments of others, with support. 5. Make inferences and draw general conclusions from evidence. 

B. Chronological Reasoning-1. Identify how events are related chronologically to one another in time, and explain the ways in which earlier ideas and events may influence subsequent ideas and events  8. Identify patterns of continuity and change as they relate to larger historical process and themes. 

Credits: John Heeg


 Materials Used: 

Resources Used:

  • Suffolk Times: Thursday, August 28, 1862, Greenport, NY


Description of Procedure:

  • Connect: 

Setting the Stage: Discuss the causes of the Civil War and what each side will need in order to win the war.  The Do Now question will be what will each side need to win the war?  The teacher will write student answers on the board and will then focus on the need for more soldiers. 

  • Wonder: 

Teacher will ask Why would young men volunteer to fight in the Civil War? What are the risks associated with volunteering in the war? How will you get young men to want to fight?

As a class look at the two recruitment posters.  Teacher will ask: What is the purpose of the poster?  Who is the audience for the posters?

  • Investigate: 

Cooperative Learning Assignment: Prior to students looking at the documents the teacher will say that today we are going to look at documents from a newspaper.  The documents will give you insight into how people felt about young men serving in the military.  Students will be placed in groups of 4.  Each student will receive a different document and the HIPPO graphic organizer.  For the first five to ten minutes, students will analyze the document assigned to them and fill out the graphic organizer.  When students are done analyzing the document, each student will then share their findings one at a time with the people in their group.

  • Construct: 

Whole Class Discussion.  After each student has taught their documents to the students in the group the class will then discuss what they have learned.  The teacher will ask the following questions:

  • What do the documents have in common?

  • What did the documents not have in common?

  • How did people feel about young men from their community fighting in the Civil War? Why?

  • How do you think young men reacted to the documents?  

  • Why did some people not want young men fighting in the war?  

  • Express: 

Before students complete the exit ticket the teacher will ask: How did people feel about men serving in the war?  How did some people react to men serving in the war?  Why did people have those feelings?  

  • Reflect:

As part of the evaluation the students will identify and discuss the  historical thinking skills they used to analyze the documents.  

As an exit ticket, ask your students, "How did people react to the need for soldiers to fight in the Civil War?"

 Extensions (if applicable)

Look at military recruiting posters in different wars and compare and contrast the posters.  Things to focus on:

-have the posters changed over time

-what has remained the same

-the reactions people had to men serving in wars