A Civil War Memoir

Union soldier
Confederate Soldier
Confederate Woman
Enslaved Woman
Enslaved Man
Lawrence Williams
2nd Rhode Island Volunteers
John Carden
Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Abigail (Williams) Carden
Farmer's Wife; Volunteer Nurse
Anne "Auntie Anne" Haywood
Enslaved American; Teacher
Enslaved American


You’ve been looking at the Civil War through the lives of several people. It had long-term consequences on individuals and families, and their extended families. Pretend it’s the day before Appomattox. How would these five people feel at this point in the war? What would their feelings be about the past years of conflict? What might their hopes or fears for the future be?

Review the Evacuation of Richmond by the Confederate Army article and the notes from Generals Lee and Grant to better understand what it was like at this time. You will take on the role of one of the five people used during this unit. How would that person react to this situation? What are you thinking? How do you think you’re going to react to the events that are about to unfold? How would other events of the Civil War impact your life and that of your family?

We know a lot about the consequences of the Civil War by reading papers and journals written by people who lived during that time. They would write about the hardships they faced, their daily routines and pastimes. Some were involved in battles or the aftermath of battles, which has helped us to understand what happened during those battles. Many also wrote about slavery from their perspective.

Using your textbook or your notes, write either an editorial to the local newspaper or a journal entry about the impact the war has had on your life (from the perspective of your person). What events (battles, etc.) happened earlier that influence your thinking? What are some of the hardships you’ve faced and how do they impact you, and possibly your family? How will this impact other people or families you know about? What is the role of slavery in your life and how might that change after Appomattox? What economic consequences do you expect after Appomattox?

Topics to cover in your product:

Resource Library

Be sure to download the rubric (in Word) to guide your work.

Attribute; Non-commercial Use; Share alike

Please note: This performance task was developed with input from teachers Kelli Wilson and Makesha Yellock from Martinsville Middle School, instructional coaches, and other dedicated educators in the Martinsville City Public Schools. You are free to use this task, but do please give credit to John Ross and Martinsville City Public Schools if you do use it.