Many of you may remember that this past school year I accompanied 35 students on a civil rights trip from Atlanta to Memphis. I was asked to accompany the instructor who organized it, but this year my school is requesting that I lead a trip for what we call Exploration Week, which takes place in March. It should come as no surprise that I am thinking of a Civil War trip for about 15 to 20 students – going small for the first year. What I have is little more than a sketchy outline of some of the sites that I want to visit, but they will likely fall between Gettysburg and Fredericksburg.
While the trip will focus on the major battlefields of the East, as well as broader questions related to the evolution of the war, I do want to personalize it for my students. I am hoping to structure the trip around the experiences of two soldiers, one Union and one Confederate. This is where I need your help. I am looking for two soldiers that fought through the war from December 1862 to July 1863 and who left an account of their experiences. Ideally, I am looking for a diary and letters collection that has been published. The United States soldier should be from the Boston area, but the Confederate side is wide open.
I am currently reading, A Corporal’s Story: Civil War Recollections of the Twelfth Massachusetts, which was written by George Kimball and who lived in Boston before and after the war. He is buried in a cemetery just up the road from my school in Lexington. I would prefer a wartime account, but Kimball’s narrative is very colorful and, apparently, he used his letters home during the war as well as other sources while writing his memoir.
So, your suggestions are very much appreciated and don’t be surprised if I hit up a couple of you to help me out at specific locations. You know who you are. 🙂