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How to
Use the Activities


Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Putting It All Together

The following activities will help students better understand the forces that led up to the Battle of Mill Springs and the ways in which communities, including their own, commemorate those killed during war.

Activity 1: Choosing Sides
Kentuckians had a difficult choice to make in the Civil War: which side best represented their interests? Which side was morally right? Which side did they feel closer to? Have students create a Civil War-era character for themselves, defining such traits as age, occupation, income, and family background. Have each write a short speech (30-60 seconds) in which they explain who they are, which side they will support, and why. They should try to persuade other students to join their side. Ask those that switched sides what arguments caused them to change their minds. Conclude by discussing what reasons, if any, were convincing enough to convince them to go to war.

Activity 2: Soldiers' View
Weather and weaponry played an important part in the outcome of the Battle of Mill Springs. Have students review Reading 2, marking all the references to weather and weaponry. Have students assume the role of a Confederate soldier at Mill Springs towards the end of the battle, when it becomes clear how desperate the situation is. Each should quickly write a note to a loved one to be delivered if the author is killed. The note should describe what the conditions were like during the Battle of Mill Springs, including weather, terrain, and the misfiring weapons, and soldiers' reaction to these developments. It may be instructive to give students a time limit so that they feel the urgency of conveying what might be their last words in just a short period.

Activity 3: Community Action
Through her actions, Dorothea Burton Hudson preserved and protected a historical place and honored the dead. The memorial she helped create now is an important part of the community. How are wars, and the men who fought in them, remembered in the local community? Have students find a memorial and describe it, including a physical description, what it says, and where it is located. Students may also want to research the history of this memorial. Libraries and local historical societies are good places to find this information.




Comments or Questions

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