Growing-Up before they had to: Children of the Civil War

Becoming a Detective

On April 2, 1861, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Horton from Mobile, Alabama, wrote to her cousin Emma Barbour, age seventeen, in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts: “Times are indeed troublous, when our city is so flooded with soldiers, thirsting for the blood of those whom they consider their enemies. My fervent prayer is that not a drop of blood may be shed on either side.”

Given the following documents, make inferences as to which life was harder during the American Civil War as seen through the eyes of children. It is your job to determine the type of evidence included within this file, the credibility of each piece of evidence and how the evidence fits together. Finally, you will be asked to come up with an answer to the following question: What aspects of living through the Civil War would have been most difficult?

 

 

Investigating the Evidence

Front Line:

Home Front:

 

Searching for Clues

Please answer the following questions about each document or download the formatted Case File (PDF format | Word document).

  1. Answer the following questions for each set of documents pertaining to the home front and front line:
    • What type of documents are these?
    • Who created the documents? How old are they?
    • When were the documents written?
    • Why do you think these documents were written?
  2. Using quotes from the text, list experiences that children faced during the Civil War.
  3. Using the Venn Diagram in Case log, describe the similarities and differences of experiences that children faced during the Civil War.

 

 

Cracking the Case

After analyzing the different documents, please write a paragraph answering the following question: Through the eyes of the children, what aspects of living through the Civil War would have been most difficult? You must cite evidence to support your answer. Please indicate whether you were satisfied with the evidence and list any additional questions that have been left unanswered through your investigation.