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Historical Context





Table of

About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file "Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District" and several primary and secondary sources. It was written by John Andrews, former supervisory park ranger, Gettysburg National Military Park.

Where it fits into the curriculum
The lesson could be used in units on the American Civil War or in geography or ethics courses. Students will study the actions of the armies in the Battle of Gettysburg and the wrenching personal choices made by some of the participants.

Objectives for students
1) To describe in general terms the Gettysburg Campaign and the major actions of the armies during each day of the battle.
2) To analyze the motives, actions, and experiences of several participants in the battle.
3) To evaluate the Gettysburg Address and its impact in regard to the occasion it was written to commemorate.
4) To prepare an address that points out the importance of a local event or issue and galvanizes public interest and action.

Materials for students
The readings and maps listed below are designed to be photocopied and distributed to students. The photographs appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a high-resolution, full-page version.
1) Two maps of the Gettysburg battlefield and surrounding area;
2) Two readings about the battle, including personal accounts of combatants;
3) A copy of the Gettysburg Address; and
4) Two historical photos of the aftermath of the battle.

Visiting the Park
Much of the ground contested during the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as the Gettysburg National Cemetery where Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, is preserved within Gettysburg National Military Park. The park is located in south central Pennsylvania near the intersection of U.S. Route 15 and 30. It is open year-round. For more information, visit the park web pages.



Comments or Questions

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