Throughout the 2014 school year, 7th-grade students from Orange County Public Schools in Orange County, Virginia, immersed themselves in their local history as it relates to the Battle of the Wilderness and the start of the Overland Campaign. During this process, they also produced a mini-movie, or vodcast, using only primary source documents.
"Memories of John W. Patterson" details the impact of war on the families of those that serve. After the death of Col. Patterson in the Battle of the Wilderness, his family struggled to survive.
Prior to the start of the Civil War, citizens throughout the nation debated the merits and constitutionality of southern secession from the Union. 150 years later, the debate continues in the vodcast "Died of a Theory."
During the Battle of the Wilderness, fires in the thick forests killed thousands and devastated the local landscape. "Days of Fire" examines the environmental impact on the area during that difficult time.
Throughout the start of the Overland Campaign, Katherine Couse documented her experiences in a journal, which 150 years later was used by 7th-graders as a magnifying glass into civilian life during war.
"The Bridge to Battle" details the use of pontoon bridges in the Battle of the Wilderness and the start of the Overland Campaign. In May 1864, these floating bridges allowed the Union army to cross the Rapidan River in pursuit of General Lee and his men.
Although many African American enlisting with the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War, it wasn't until 1864 that these troops saw combat. Nimrod Burke was one of many soldiers from the 23rd USCT that fought for their freedom during this trying time in American history.