About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places documentation for “The Stockade” and “Florence National Cemetery,” part of the “Civil War Era National Cemeteries MPS;" and on archival and archeological research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration (NCA), conducted by archeologists with MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc. (MACTEC). The lesson was written by Paul G. Avery, RPA, Archeologist with MACTEC, in cooperation with the NCA history staff, as one component of the mitigation associated with the expansion of Florence National Cemetery. It was edited by educator Jim Percoco and the Teaching with Historic Places staff. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in units on the Civil War, military camp sites, or on prisoners of war. It also demonstrates how the historical record and archeological data are used in combination to provide a clearer understanding of events in the past. Students will develop skills in reading, data synthesis, and analysis from a variety of sources.
Time period: Mid to 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 describe the equipment and supplies available to the guards at the Florence Stockade and the conditions they experienced in their camp.
2) To compare and contrast conditions for the prisoners inside the stockade with those of the guards outside its walls.
3) To describe the archeological methods used to investigate the campground.
4) To discuss how archeological data influences the historical record.
5) To compare the experience of women in the Civil War to women who have served in more recent wars.
Materials for students
The materials listed below can either 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 of Civil War prisons and the Florence Stockade;
2) Three drawings of the plan of the stockade and of a shelter built by prisoners;
3) Four readings on the history of Florence Stockade and the archeological excavation;
4) Two photographs of artifacts.
Visiting the site
The site of the Florence Stockade is located off of Stockade Drive in Florence, South Carolina. The Friends of the Florence Stockade maintain a gazebo with information on the Stockade and a walking trail that allows visitors to see the existing remains of the Stockade. Visitors can walk where the prisoners were held and see the remains of the earthen wall that held up the posts forming the Stockade as well as the ditch that prevented the prisoners from tunneling out. In addition, the trail leads to several defensive positions manned by the Confederate guards. Further information on the Florence Stockade can be obtained from the Friends of the Florence Stockade by writing to them at 307 King's Place, Hartsville, South Carolina, 29550.
In addition to the Stockade, the graves of the prisoners who died while in captivity are located in the Florence National Cemetery, which is located on National Cemetery Road in Florence, South Carolina. The cemetery consists of two parts, the original tract north of National Cemetery Road and a newer expansion to the south. The cemetery contains the remains of over 9,000 soldiers and their family members who served in every period of peace and major conflict since the Civil War. The burial trenches of the Union prisoners are located in the older portion of the cemetery. The cemetery office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., but is closed on Federal holidays. The cemetery contains historical markers and is open for visitation during day-light hours year round. The portion of the cemetery discussed in this daily lesson is located south of the main flag pole. For more information on the Florence National Cemetery, contact the office at 803 East National Cemetery Road, Florence, South Carolina, 29506, or visit www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/florence.asp.