Today, we are going to talk about the American Civil War! In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the President of the United States. If you would like to know more about Abraham Lincoln’s involvement in the war, you can check out our earlier lesson here. But there were a lot of people that were involved in the Civil War! Some men, some women, some military commanders. Some people helped to make important decisions, some people led armies, some people helped the sick and injured, and some people helped those who couldn’t help themselves. Thanks to 123Homeschool4Me, you can print off a flapbook about some of the important people who were involved in this stressful time in American History: a time when America fought itself, north versus south.
One of these important people was a woman named Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman was a woman who had been a slave at one point in her life, and she was involved in something called the Underground Railroad even before the Civil War. Now, the Underground Railroad wasn’t an actual railroad with trains, but it was a series of people who helped slaves in the southern states escape into freedom. Slavery was the biggest issue that Northern and Southern states disagreed about, and was one of the biggest factors that led to the Civil War. Once the war started, Harriet continued to help free enslaved peoples, but she also joined the Union (Northern) army as a nurse, cook, and spy. Harriet was a good spy; she had to be good at hiding people and information in order to succeed on the Underground Railroad. This meant that the members of the Underground Railroad had to come up with codes and ways to transport people. One of those ways was to use a series of codes that were communicated by quilt. Do you think that you could have worked on the Underground Railroad? Well, if you check out Deceptively Educational, you can try your hand at a quilt-coded board game!
Throughout the Civil War, both sides of the conflict had many people leading armies and making military decisions. For the Union, Ulysses S. Grant was one of the most important generals, and he would eventually become the Commander of the entire Union army. For the Confederacy (the Southern states), Robert E. Lee was the Commander. Each of them had many generals underneath them who were also incredibly important. The Union had men like George Meade and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who helped to win a victory at Gettysburg (which we will learn more about tomorrow!). The Confederacy had men like Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart who were incredibly important to the Confederate victories. Each general made important decisions to help with the war effort. Do you think you can find some of their names below?
Another really important person in the Civil War was a woman named Clara Barton! She was important because she was one of the main people helping to take care of the sick and wounded soldiers. She helped to establish an organization called the Red Cross, and she had a lot of nurses involved. She helped to reorganize field hospitals, clean wounds, and recruit nurses to take care of people. So in honor of today, Happy Nurses Day, Clara Barton! Below, you can color a picture of Clara or cut out a paper doll!
There were a lot of important roles to fill, both on and off the battlefield. One of those positions was political. For the Union, they had President Abraham Lincoln to make decisions. The Confederacy had president Jefferson Davis to make decisions. Both of these roles were incredibly important, but also required people to make difficult decisions. Do you think you could have made the right political decisions? Well, if you click here, you can test your skills in an online Civil War escape room! Let’s see if you have what it takes!