Part 1. Wounds and death during wartime
Next read the following letter from Confederate soldier J.R. Montgomery:
Spotsylvania County, Va. May 10
This is my last letter to you. I went into battle this evening as courier for Genl. Heth. I have been struck by a piece of shell and my right shoulder is horribly mangled & I knowdeath is inevitable. I am very weak but I write to you because I know you would be delighted to read a word from your dying son. I know death is near, that I will die far from home and friends of my early youth but I have friends here too who are kind to me. My friend Fairfax will write you at my request and give you the particulars of my death. My grave will be marked so that you may visit it if you desire to do so, but it is optionary with you whether you let my remains rest here or in Miss. I would like to rest in the grave yard with my dear mother and brothers but it's a matter of minor importance. Let us all try to reunite in heaven. I pray my God to forgive my sins and I feel that his promises are true that he will forgive me and save me. Give my love to all my friends. My strength fails me. My horse and my equipments will be left for you. Again, a long farewell to you. May we meet in heaven.
Your dying son,
Montgomery died four days later on the 14 May. His friend Fairfax did indeed write to Montgomery's father and to provide the details of his death. They said his family was never able to find him and bring him back to Mississippi though they looked.
After reading the letter above, review Civil War by the Numbers and Then & Now: Caring for War's Dead and Wounded. With a partner, discuss the questions below:
Part 2. Gettysburg address and Whitman's poem
On Nov. 19, 1863, Lincoln dedicated a national cemetery at Gettysburg. His speech lasted just two minutes but has been remembered as one of the most influential speeches in U.S. history.
It is a short speech, so we will read it together as a class. As we do so, try to identify:
Compare with Whitman:
Step 1: Image analysis
Step 2: Document analysis
Working with 1-2 partner(s), write brief notes to address the questions on the “Did Lincoln free the slaves?” handout. Note that the documents being analyzed include (A) Lincoln’s letter to Greeley, (B) the Emancipation Proclamation, and (C) Frederick Douglass’s recollection of his meeting with Lincoln.
Feel free to use the two maps below, of the border states (left) and the Emancipation Proclamation (right), for reference.
We will debrief some of these questions together as a class.
Step 3: Graphic organizer
Drawing from the documents and your reading in Foner, continue working with your partner(s) to complete the sheet entitled “Did Lincoln free the slaves? Or did the slaves free themselves?”
Step 4: Debrief
Our goal today is to examine what happens when fake news spreads and to identify specific actions we can take to verify news stories, photographs and other sources of online information.
Fake news is no longer a matter of the occasional hoax. There is growing evidence that fake news has the
power to shape public opinion and even sway elections. As more of us get our news online, it is increasingly vital that we know how to verify sources and spot fake news or images, even though they often appear indistinguishable from a reliable source.
Step 1. Quick write
In your journal, consider the following question in writing.
Once you are done, compare your answers with 1-2 partner(s) and then we will briefly share around the table.
Step 2. Fukushima Daisies
In March 2011, an earthquake of the coast of Japan produced a tsunami wave that in turn caused a series of nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The following image was posted on Imgur, a photo sharing website, in July 2015.
Does this image provide strong evidence of conditions near the Fukushima plant? Together, we will identify questions we might ask ourselves to decide.
Step 3. What can we do?
Read the following three sources that provide some background about fake news, including why it is important, how it is produced and circulates, and what we can do as individuals to avoid its influence:
Questions to consider as you read and reflect on the articles above:
For our next assignment, we will turn back to where we left off in the Civil War: