Civil War Documents due: 1/23/2012

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Civil War Documents DUE: 1/23/2012

Winter Break Project

December 2011
This project requires you to read a work of historical fiction and compare the story to primary documents from the Civil War period. An example of a primary document might be a record of a slave’s life, a census entry, a diary, a first-hand account of a battle during the war, the Emancipation Proclamation, or the Gettysburg Address.
Choose a work of historical fiction from the attached list (available in the Media Center) or as distributed from Ms. Foster or me. Read the book over the winter break. You should aim for reading 20 pages a day from your chosen book and keep a brief reading log (minimum 8 entries).
As you read, keep in mind that you are going to compare the facts of the story with primary sources. You will use the sources as evidence of the story’s factual content. The sources you find might not be the same sources the author used but you can compare a slave’s view of life as told through the story with an autobiography from a slave. You can use artifacts from a museum as evidence of a soldier’s life during the war. You can use maps to understand the significance of a battle or the movement of armies during the war. You must find a minimum of 5 primary sources that you can compare to your choice of historical fiction.
The project requires

  • reading

  • 20 minutes a day minimum

  • a reading log: 8 entries minimum

  • 25 points

  • finding primary documents that are related to the story’s plot or characters,

  • minimum 5 sources

  • 25 points

  • writing about the story, its characters and plot. Writing about the documents, how you found them, and what they told you about the story you read

  • minimum 3 pages typed

  • MLA style

  • Bibliography

  • 75 points

This project begins December 23, 2011 and will be due no later than Monday January 23, 2012.

A work

B work

C work


3 pages or more

Follow MLA style

Includes Works Cited

3 pages

MLA format

With Works Cited

3 pages

MLA format w/ errors


5 or more primary sources

Mimimum of 5

Primary sources

Works Cited but less than 5 primary sources


Describes the plot, main characters, and the historical setting. Uses all of the primary documents effectively and accurately.

Well organized

Few/ no typos

Includes reading journal with 8 or more entries.

Describes the plot, main characters, and the historical setting. Uses all of the primary documents effectively.

Well organized

Few typos

Includes reading journal with 8 entries.

Missing one or more elements.

Uses most of the primary documents.

Has some organization problems.

Some typos. Includes reading journal with 8 entries.

Civil War Fiction
Where I am Bound by Allen Ballard 310 pages:

Joe Duckett, having escaped slavery to join the Union Army, becomes a hero in his regiment, but his most dangerous task is still before him when he makes plans to return to the plantation from which he fled to claim his wife and daughter.

Who Comes With Cannons by Patricia Beatty 178 pages:

In 1861 twelve-year-old Truth, a Quaker girl from Indiana, is staying with relatives who run a North Carolina station of the Underground Railroad, when her world is changed by the beginning of the Civil War.

Second Sight by Gary Blackwood 277 pages

In Washington, D.C., during the last days of the Civil War, a teenage boy who performs in a mind reading act befriends a clairvoyant girl whose frightening visions foreshadow an assassination plot.

The Tamarack Tree by Patricia Clapp 211 pages

An eighteen-year-old English girl finds her loyalties divided and all her resources tested as she and her friends experience the terrible physical and emotional hardships of the forty-seven day siege of Vicksburg in the spring of 1863.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane 134 pages

The story of a young Union soldier who must reconcile his conflicting emotions about war after coming under fire for the first time at the battle of Chancellorsville.

Bull Run by Paul Fleischman 102 pages

Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

Out from This Place by Joyce Hansen 135 pages

A fourteen-year-old black girl tries to find a fellow ex-slave, who had joined the Union army during the Civil War, during the confusing times after the emancipation of the slaves.

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly by Joyce Hansen 197 pages

Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the exciting but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith 331 pages

Sixteen-year-old Jefferson Davis Bussey cannot wait to join the Army and defend the Union against the dreaded Colonel Watie, but when he is assigned to infiltrate the enemy camp as a spy, he discovers the rebels are boys and men just like him, and he must then decide whether to betray his enemies or join them.

Time’s Memory by Julius Lester 225 pages

Ekundayo, a Dogon spirit brought to America from Africa, inhabits the body of a young African American slave on a Virginia plantation, where he experiences loss, sorrow, and reconciliation in the months preceding the Civil War.

Night John Gary Paulsen 92 pages

Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read.

Sarny: A life Remembered by Gary Paulsen Sequel to Nightjohn 178 pages

Continues the adventures of Sarny, the slave girl whom Nightjohn taught to read, through the aftermath of the Civil War during which time she taught other African-Americans and lived a full life until age ninety-four.

Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen 102 pages

Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

The Killer Angles by Michael Shaara 345 pages

A fictional account of four days in July, 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg discussing tactics, plans, and preparations for battle from both the Northern and Southern points of view.

The Last Silk Dress by Ann Rinaldi 325 pages

During the Civil War, Susan finds a way to help the Confederate Army and uncovers a series of mysterious family secrets.

Jubilee by Margaret Walker 416 pages

Fact-based novel that chronicles the experiences of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and his slave mistress, discussing her life as slave during the Civil War, and as a woman freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.

Red Cap by G. Clifton Wisler 160 pages

A young Yankee drummer boy displays great courage when he's captured and sent to Andersonville Prison.

Thunder on the Tennessee by G. Clifton Wiesler 153 pages

Sequel to: Buffalo moon. Following his father's example, sixteen-year old Willie Delamer joins the Second Texas Regiment and leaves his beloved Texas to fight for the Confederacy.

Woe to Live On by Daniel Woodrell 214 pages

In 1861, sixteen-year-old Jake joins the secessionist group known as the First Kansas Irregulars, and partakes in brutality excused in the name of retribution.

Slavery Fiction
Kindred by Octavia Butler 263 pages

young African-American woman is mysteriously transferred back in time leading to an irresistible curiosity about her family's past.

Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs by Mary E. Lyons 168 pages

fictionalized version of the life of Harriet Jacobs, told in the form of letters that she might have written during her slavery in North Carolina and as she prepared for escape to the North in 1842.

Letters from a Slave Boy: The Story of Joseph Jacobs by Mary E. Lyons 195 pages

fictionalized look at the life of Joseph Jacobs, son of a slave, told in the form of letters that he might have written during his life in pre-Civil War North Carolina, on a whaling expedition, in New York, New England, and finally in California during the Gold Rush.

Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue by Julius Lester 176 pages

Presents an historical fiction written in first-person format that follows Emma, the slave of Pierce Butler, through a series of events in her life as her master hosts the largest slave auction in American history in Savannah, Georgia in 1859 in order to pay off his mounting gambling debts.

I, Dred Scott by Shelia Moses 92 pages

A fictional chronicle of Dred Scott's life in slavery and his eleven-year fight for freedom in the nineteenth-century American courts, presented from Scott's point of view.

Second Daughter by Mildred Pitts Walter 211 pages

Aissa, the teen-age fictional sister of Elizabeth Freeman, struggles against a system which declares that she is property and that she is to remain silent

Trapped Between the Lash and the Gun by Arvella Whitmore 179 pages

Twelve-year-old Jordan is becoming dangerously involved with a street gang when he is suddenly transported through time to become a slave on the plantation of his ancestors.

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