Soldier’s Life, Civil War

Week 14: Soldier’s Life, Civil War


Read K – 5: The Code of the Drum by L.L. Owens  & Read NOTE* (see below)

View 6 – 8:  America: The Story of US video: (Civil War: Disk 2 Section 1) & Read NOTE (see below)  You may be able to see the video for free by clicking on this website:

Parents: The above video is a bit bloody and intense.  I recommend viewing it first before showing it to your children.

Note: The end of the Civil War was considered to be Total War.  Union armies marched through the South destroying anything that might help the Confederates keep fighting.  They burned buildings and took food and valuables from peoples’ homes.  Finally Grant’s army of 100,000 Union soldiers surrounded Lee’s army of 26,000 Confederates and Lee surrendered.  Lee surrendered to Grant on April 9th, 1865 at Appomattox Court House.  The war had lasted 5 years.  By the end of the war, one out of every 10 men from the North was killed or wounded.  From the South, one out of every three men was killed or wounded.


Questions: For K – 5 Only:

  • What was the infantry? (Soldiers trained to fight on foot)
  • How heavy were the soldiers’ packs? (30 pounds)
  • Why were drum calls important during the Civil War? (told soldiers what to do)
  • Were boys able to be in the army? (yes)
  • What did many boys do in the army? (played drum or bugle)
  • Could drummers be killed during battles? (yes)
  • What other jobs did young boys do around the soldiers’ camp? (carried water, delivered messages, helped wounded, mended uniforms, served food, cut hair)
  • T/F There were more than 10 different drum calls during the Civil War. (true)
  • Name some of the reasons there were drum calls? (roll call, to march, to assemble, to awaken camp, to come to alarm posts, etc.  There was even a call to bring soldiers to church!)

Questions for All Grades:

  • How many years did the Civil War last? (5)
  • How many men from the North were killed or wounded? (1/10)
  • How many men from the South were killed or wounded? ( 1/3)
  • Who surrendered? (Lee)
  • Where did he surrender? (Appomattox Court House)

Activities: K – 2:  Color this Civil War drummer coloring page:   AND

K – 5: Then Listen to Civil War Drum calls on YouTube by clicking here:

Grades 3 – 5:   Write paragraphs to answer the following questions.

      • Do you think Jacob made the right decision to join the Union army at such a young age? Why or why not?
      • How do you believe his mother is reacting to his decision?
      • Did Jacob’s decision to fight for the Union save lives? What would have happened if he hadn’t become a drummer for the Union army?

6 – 8: None!

Copyright April 15th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Civil War Era

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