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Sleeping Heroes - Suggested research topics

There are many ways your students can answer all or part of the thesis questions, “How did the Civil War impact my community? or“Did Civil War veterans impact my community?”

  1. Look for family and community connections in a unit.  Can you infer or document that men came to Kansas together?
  2. Why did the veteran come to Kansas?
  3. What was his occupation?  Is that occupation still around today?  How has it changed?
  4. What were the “home” states for the veterans?  Did some states “contribute” more veterans than others to Kansas’ growth in population?
  5. What did you learn about the veteran’s family?  How many children? Did they go to school?  Did they have live-in help? In what state were the children born? Did they live on a farm or in a city?
  6. What impact did the G.A.R. have on the community? How was the post named?  Can you determine the origin of the post name? Were there auxiliary organizations, such as the Women’s Relief Corps, Sons of Veterans, and Ladies of the G.A.R.? Can you find reports of the meetings?  What did they do? How did members contribute to the town’s development? What charitable contributions did the G.A.R. and affiliate organizations make? How did the G.A.R. influence politics? How did the G.A.R. contribute to the social life of a community?
  7. What is the history of my soldier’s regiment? What branch of service? Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery, Navy? Medical Corps? What battles did they fight? Where? When?
  8. Memorial Day was created because of the Civil War.  What ceremonies take place in your community?

Suggested performance assessments:

  1. First person, living history performance
  2. Written biographical sketch
  3. Group performance
  4. Lead a tour and/or write a tour brochure of Civil War related sites in your community (i.e., monuments, headstones)
  5. Mural or collage of events in the veteran's life or military unit
  6. Collage of family or community photographs
  7. Genealogy of family
  8. Spreadsheet or chart of veterans in your community
  9. Use 1894 roster to plot on U.S. map the state where the unit was located
  10. Create an exhibit using pictures and objects
  11. Use the information gathered by the entire class to determine how many veterans were farmers and how many were businessmen.  What can you infer about life int he late-1800s in Kansas? What occupations no longer exist or exist in a different format?
  12. Explain why Kansas is called the "Soldier State."

Sleeping Heroes database

This database of Civil War soldiers with Kansas connections was originally compiled by researcher John Jackson.

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Sleeping Heroes: The Impact of Civil War Veterans on Kansas Communities Planning committee

  • Don Gifford, educational program consultant, Kansas Department of Education
  • John Jackson, independent researcher
  • Don Lambert, humanities consultant
  • Mary Madden, director of education, Kansas Historical Society
  • Julie McPike, program coordinator, Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area
  • Pat Michaelis, director of archives, Kansas Historical Society
  • Joan Nothern, Save Our History grant coordinator, Glasco Community Foundation and USD 334