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Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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About This Lesson


This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Bentonville Battleground State Historic Site" (with photographs), and other sources. It was made possible by the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program. The lesson written by John C. Goode, Historic Site Manager at Bentonville Battleground State Historic Site, and Elaine Beck, Curator of Education for the North Carolina Historic Sites Section. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in units on the Civil War. Students will strengthen their skills of observation, research, and analysis of a variety of sources.
Time period: Late 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To trace how the Union Army's organization of medical care in the field developed between the battles of First Manassas in 1861 and Bentonville in 1865.
2) To identify criteria considered important by Union surgeons in determining locations for the placement of field hospitals.
3) To understand the experience of a wounded soldier at the end of the Civil War, from his removal from the battlefield through his treatment at a field hospital.
4) To examine how a battle affected nearby families.
5) To gather information on the experiences of members of volunteer service organizations or the medical profession within their community who have been involved with trauma-related situations.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) two maps showing Sherman's march and the Battle of Bentonville;
2) four readings demonstrating the development of Union medicine during the Civil War, including several personal observations;
3) three photographs of field medicine, an army hospital, and the Harper House.

Visiting the site
Of the 6,000 acres on which the Battle of Bentonville occurred, only 120 are maintained today as Bentonville Battleground State Historic Site. The battleground is maintained by an agency of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in southeastern Johnston County on State Road 1008, six miles east of Interstate 40 and 15 miles southeast of Interstate 95. There are marked exits for the battlefield on both interstates. From April 1 through October 31, the site is open Monday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Winter hours are in effect from November 1 through March 31, when the site is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The site is closed on Monday during its winter schedule, as well as on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For additional information, contact the Historic Site Manager, 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks, North Carolina, 27524 or visit the park's web pages.

 

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