Students will need to understand the Presidential election cycle and also have an idea of campaigning and possibly mudslinging. Students should be familiar with Eastern US Geography, although topography understanding is not necessary. Students should be familiar with most of the major characters in this lesson, as they have been previously introduced.
Students will need to make connections here to various other future lessons. Students should understand how Sherman’s March influenced Southern feelings after the war, how Grant and Sherman’s victories won them future popularity (and in Grant’s case, the Presidency). Students should understand the importance of Lincoln’s reelection to the future of the United States as they see it today. The effects of the Civil War lingered on for over 100 years; so understanding of the effects of these major campaigns is key to units on Reconstruction, Industrialization, and Civil Rights/50’s and 60’s.