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Putting It All Together

In this lesson, students learn about the history of Camp Chase and the federal government's policies guiding the marking of POW graves. The following activities will help them apply what they have learned.

Activity 1: Research a Prisoner of War Camp
Have students research and compile a list of some of the larger Civil War prisoner-of-war camps. Divide students into teams assigning each group a camp on which to research and report. Make sure the class is evenly divided representing both Southern and Northern camps. Some questions to consider: Where was the camp located and why was it built there? What was life like for camp prisoners? What was the mortality rate? What happened to the camp after the war? Are the structures still in existence today? Did the camp become a cemetery for those who died there? Is the camp a park (national, state, or local) and is it interpreted as a historic site? If so, contact the site and request further information. Have students report their finding and then hold a class discussion on how their camps compare to what they have learned about Camp Chase.

Activity 2: National Cemetery System
Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery is one of 33 small soldiers' lots and Confederate cemeteries maintained by the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), Department of Veterans Affairs. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation that created the National Cemetery system and 14 national cemeteries. Ten years later, another 62 were established. The U.S. government, facing an unprecedented situation with the number of casualties during this war, realized that it had to devise a system to honor and care for these lost soldiers. Have students research the development of the National Cemetery System and write a paper on their findings. Be sure students include when Confederate burials became part of this story. Also make sure that students include in their research the role of that the NCA plays today in honoring veteran soldiers. (Have students visit the Department of Veteran Affairs National Cemetery Administration website to begin their research.)

Activity 3: Design a Memorial
Have students determine if there are any soldier's graves in the local cemetery, and when and where the veteran/veterans served. Using familiar memorial forms (standing figures, obelisk, block, column, archway), symbolism (anchor, flags and cannon, broken tree trunks, flowers), and materials (marble, bronze, granite), have students design an appropriate memorial and identify a location for it.

 

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