Monday, February 27, 2012

From their own pens...

What were the experiences of Civil War soldiers as they left home, experienced camp life, and fought in their first battles? The University of Vermont and Vermont Historical Society are collaborating on a digitizing project to bring these experiences to the internet, directly from the soldiers' own pens.

You can view the original letter or a typed transcription. Each letter also has a brief description of the writer, recipient, and topic(s). For instance, the little clipping below is accompanied by:

Hiram H. Barton was born in 1836 at Crown Point, N.Y., the son of William A. and Electa (Taylor) Barton. He served in Co. C, 96th New York State Volunteers. He married Jennie Abbie Johnson on September 5, 1869 in Bridport, Vermont. He died there of a cerebral abscess on April 6, 1903 and was buried in the Bridport Village Cemetery.

Hiram Barton's one letter was written to his sister, Melissa Barton, and describes his regiment, the soldiers' clothes, and the barracks.

It is also possible to search the website by topics such as: African-Americans, battles, desertion, diseases, drill tactics, fugitive slaves, homesickness, grief, slavery, religion, and many others. To find topics, just click on Browse the Collection.

Teachers are beginning to use the collection in a variety of ways. One teacher is having students choose topics to research and collect quotes related to the topics. Students then find historic photographs to connect to the quotes and share via Google presentation. Another teacher had his students collect quotes on topics which they will then use to compare with stories they gather from veterans in their community today..

No comments:

Post a Comment