Friday, April 30, 2010

Arrival at East Elementary

Civil War Sallie has arrived at East Elementary in Greenville, Pennsylvania! She is so excited to meet Techno Tiger, the mascot of Mrs. Abernethy's Techno Tigers! Students can't wait to learn about the Civil War from Sallie!

Monday, April 26, 2010

New President Lincoln Exhibit at the National Civil War Museum


While traveling to Pennsylvania, I received an email from Mr. Kelly Lewis who is the President and CEO for the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania. Mr. Lewis invited me to come to a reception at the National Civil War Museum to meet President Lincoln and to see a new exhibit about him.

According to Mr. Lewis, the main feature of this new exhibit is what is called a synthetic interview. What this means is that you can walk up to the exhibit, ask President Lincoln a question and a video of the President will answer you. How cool is that!! I can't wait to see it.

If you are in the Harrisburg, Pa area, join me and my friend Sarah on Wednesday, May 12th at the opening reception from 4-6pm. Read more about it on the museum's website

Until next time...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Awesome in Alabama!

Wow! This has been an awesome week in Cherokee County, Alabama. After the historical tour, I have been traveling all over the county and visiting 4th graders in three elementary schools. You can check out the Flickr photos to meet all the nice teachers and students I have gotten to know this week.

On Tuesday, I visited all 7 classes of 4th graders at Centre Elementary School. It was quite a busy day but I loved being meeting all the 4th graders there! They studied about the Civil War earlier this year and knew a lot of Civil War facts. We headed to Spring Garden School on Wednesday and students there seemed quite proud that their community had a small bit of local Civil War history - John Wisdom's ride to Rome - the Paul Revere of the south.

Thursday was Earth Day and I celebrated with students at Gaylesville School. Students in Gaylesville were eager to share their knowledge about the events surrounding General Sherman’s stay in Gaylesville in 1864 at the local doctor’s home. They were also excited about giving me a few things to add to my collection: an Earth Day litter bag, locally grown cotton, and handmade cards.

You can’t celebrate Earth Day without getting outdoors! Ms. Rhonda took me to see beautiful Weiss Lake on Thursday afternoon. I saw some boats, fishermen, ducks, and geese. It’s still too cool for most water sports so I just enjoyed being out in the sunshine! It was a beautiful day!

This is me at Weiss Lake - enjoying the sunshine!

On Friday morning, I dropped back by Centre Elementary School for a photo shoot and enjoyed learning about their "Renew the Rivers" project. Each year, they observe this cleanup project and students assist in cleaning up around their lake and rivers. It's nice to see citizens taking pride in nature to preserve the beautiful lakes and rivers they have in their area. I wish more people would be observant of protecting the environment.

That is the end of my journey for now in Alabama. I'm headed back to Pennsylvania later this afternoon but will take fond memories with me and hope to return again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Civil War History of Cherokee County, Alabama

I arrived in Gnatville, Alabama to the home of my hostess, Ms. Rhonda Clark, Technology Integration Specialist of Cherokee County Board of Education. It was Ms. Rhonda’s goal this week to introduce me to the local local Civil War history events and to take me to visit 4th graders in the school district. Alabama history is taught in the 4th grade and Civil War history is a big interest of 4th graders.

Gnatville, you say? Yes, I was a bit curious about how this rural area had a small part in local Civil War history. Gnatville is a peaceful little community at the foot of Mount Wiesner, the second highest point in Alabama. What could have possibly happened in this quiet little community during the Civil War?

John Wisdom’s Ride to Rome

It just so happens that Ms. Rhonda’s house is on the route that John Wisdom took from Gadsden, Alabama to Rome, Georgia on May 2, 1863 to warn the citizens of Rome that Colonel Abel D. Streight and troops were on the way to destroy the foundry during his famous raid through Alabama. Mr. Wisdom left Gadsden around 3:30 that afternoon and rode furiously until he arrived in his horse and buggy in Gnatville. He needed a fresh mount because his horse could not carry on any further. He borrowed a lame pony from a widow and made it on down the road a few more miles to Goshen, Alabama where he a better horse was obtained. He changed mounts again in Spring Garden, Alabama but ran into problems as this horse was exhausted just a mile outside of Cave Spring, Georgia where, as it began to get dark outside, people were reluctant to loan their animals. Nevertheless, He walked several miles and even used a mule to get him further on his journey. The folks in Vann’s Valley, Georgia were more helpful, offering two good horses in succession to help him reach his destination of Rome, Georgia, just a few miles up the road just around midnight. The citizens of Rome began efforts to protect their town. You can understand why John Wisdom earned the title of “the Paul Revere of the south.”


I loved this interesting little story and was pleased to be a guest of Ms. Rhonda’s home in Gnatville before we began visits to other historical sites in Cherokee County.

That takes me to the next Civil War story - General Nathan Bedford Forrest and the surrender of Colonel Streight.

The Surrender of Colonel Streight

Colonel Abel D. Streight and his mule brigade’s 17 day raid through Alabama led them to the Gadsden area after receiving orders in Tuscumbia, Alabama to destroy Cornwall Furnace in Cherokee County and the foundry and machine shops in Rome, Georgia which produced guns and ammo for the Confederate Army. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest fought a running gun battle with Streight's 2,000 man force all the way from Tuscumbia.

For four days, harassed at every turn by Forrest, they had marched and fought, marched and fought, and they, men and horses, were completely exhausted. Streight had almost given Forrest the slip as they approached Gadsden. They crossed the Black Creek, just ahead of Forrest, but far enough ahead to torch the only bridge in the neighborhood. Streight thought he would gain a day and get a chance to rest and feed, but luck was with Nathan Bedford Forrest. A 15 year old girl, Emma Sansom, who, in spite of Yankee bullets, climbed up behind Forrest on his horse, and led him to a cattle ford only she knew about. (There is a statue of Emma in nearby Etowah County to honor her bravery.) Within a few hours the Confederate riders had crossed the river and were back pressing on Streight's rear guard.

Streight marched his men all night and fought a battle at Blount's Plantation in Cherokee County. The Confederates had stayed on Gen. Streight's heels until they reached the area just east of Cedar Bluff, where the Union army stopped to rest. They had just dismounted, when Forrest's troops were seen at a distance.

In a few minutes a courier reached Colonel Streight under a flag of truce, bearing a note requesting immediate surrender. A conference was then held between the two leaders during which a courier rode up to General Forrest and stated that General Van Dorn, with a division of troops, was stationed at a half-mile distance awaiting orders. Just as this courier was leaving another rode up with the statement that General Roddey was present and awaiting orders. Forrest replied to both that they were to instruct their commanders to await his signal gun, whereupon a charge was to be made.

Of course, there were no Generals Roddey or Van Dorn in the state, but believing his army was surrounded by Confederate troops, Streight agreed to the terms demanded by Forrest and surrendered his entire army!

With less than 400 men, Forrest captured almost 1500 Union soldiers.

Ms. Rhonda took me to the historical marker where it is said that Colonel Streight surrendered to Forrest in Cedar Bluff, Alabama (May 2, 1863) and to the Cornwall Furnace a short distance away, where iron ore was made for the foundry in Rome, Georgia to make guns and ammo for the Confederacy.

Here I am on top of the historical marker:

This is me at Cornwall Furnace:

Another location on this tour of Cherokee County was Gaylesville, Alabama and here is the story that goes with this tiny town in upper Cherokee County.

General Sherman’s Occupation of Cherokee County

General William Tecumseh Sherman led his troops from Summerville, Georgia to Gaylesville, Alabama where he seized a former doctor’s office and stayed for two weeks in October of 1864 during his strategic plan to occupy Confederate territory. Dr. Lawrence, the town doctor made a deal with General Sherman to treat his wounded soldiers in exchange for not burning his home. Sherman kept his word and allowed the home to remain after his departure and that is why this grand old house is the only structure in Cherokee County to survive the Civil War.

During his occupation of Cherokee County, Sherman’s six “National Forces” (we know then as Union) armies of 60,000 troops were encamped throughout the county, including Cedar Bluff, Blue Pond, Little River, and Leesburg. (This pretty much covered the whole county!) The Union soldiers burned most everything and foraged the area for food and supplies. General Sherman spent his time in Gaylesville contemplating the continuation of his strategies for his famous “March to the Sea.” This area was quite productive for General Sherman and his troops. They, reportedly, were “living high on the hog” because of the excellent foraging efforts. Sherman, also, reported that he had a stronghold at Cedar Bluff on the Coosa River. In addition, attempts were made to destroy Cornwall Furnace but they only dislodged about 6 to 8 feet of quarried rocks from the top. That halted the production of iron ore at that time but the furnace was rebuilt in 1867 and continued to operate until an accidental blowout occurred in 1874, halting any production afterwards. The remains of Cornwall Furnace are preserved in a park on the Chattooga River and beautiful Weiss Lake between Cedar Bluff and Gaylesville, Alabama.


Here I am at one of the few surviving pre-Civil War homes in Cherokee County, Alabama:

After the whirlwind tour of Cherokee County, preparations were made for school visits during the next few days.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A final day in Tuscaloosa

Two days before I left Tuscaloosa, a girl in my class named Erin took me to Capitol Park. Capitol Park is the site of the old Capitol building, because Tuscaloosa used to be the capital of Alabama! Actually, Tuscaloosa became the capital of Alabama in 1826, seven years after Alabama became a state. (The capital moved to Montgomery in 1846, which then became the first capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War.)
A fire burnt the capitol building in 1923 and turned it to ruins. However, the little that was left of the building was preserved. It has now made Capitol Park a cool hang out spot for Tuscaloosa natives. To the right you will see me on top of one of the piece of rubble, and below you will see another part of the old capitol building.

The day before I left I went home with Lucy. She lives right off of University Boulevard very near the battle where the battle of Tuscaloosa began. She took TONS of pictures of some very cool historical buildings around the area. Some of the places she visited were the Governor's Mansion, the Old Tavern, the Friedman House, the old bridge site that was part of the Tuscaloosa battle, and the Jemison house. Some of these pictures are posted below. For the rest, be sure to check out my album on Flickr!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Battle of Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa Magnet School taught me about the Battle of Tuscaloosa!

During this battle everything on campus got burned down, except the President's Mansion and three other buildings. The reason that didn't get burned down was because the president's wife went out and begged them not to burn it down. The professors also begged not to burn down the library, but they did anyway. This battle went on because the University of Alabama used to be a military school. The Yankees stole all of their cannons also. That was a sad day in Tuscaloosa but now they have recovered.

(by Jewels H.)

the President's Mansion -->

Monday, April 12, 2010

My arrival in Tuscaloosa, Alabama !

Wow! I just went home with Taylor H. for the weekend. She took me to the University of Alabama and took pictures of me with the places that were not burned in the Battle of Tuscaloosa. The children have taught me so much about it. More will come in the next post about that battle!

Here is me at the Gorgas House. It was built in 1829 and is one of four buildings that survived the Civil War. It was originally used as a hotel or "steward's hall," and then it became a dining hall for the campus and at the time of the war one of the faculty residences. After the war Confederate General Josiah Gorgas lived there with his wife and family.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Poudre River Trail Survival Field Trip - 4/2/10

Whew! I am exhausted. I am actually looking forward to some R& R in my mailing box. These Greeley kids have worn me out. Sophie brought me back early in the morning Friday so she could do her blog before the big day got started. When the rest of the class members arrived, they brought adults with them as well. There were at least 12 adults milling around, so I knew something was up.
I should have suspected something when I learned about which plants and animals to eat in the wild earlier in the week. We were packing up to head down the Poudre River Trail for a Survival Field Trip. The initial hike was brisk and beautiful. Spring is just arriving in Colorado and the birds were chirping. I stayed tucked in my carry case because it was a bit windy. We split into two groups at one of the trailheads. I went with Mrs. Sage. Once they reached their work destination, she read them a situation. It seems that they had gone on a bike trip in really hot weather, gone too far and run out of water. Their job was to find a water source, gather water, and then purify it. It was pretty funny when one group tied a water bottle with rocks in the bottom of it and then threw it into the lake. Someone forgot to hold onto the rope and it went in as well. Thank goodness for the wind because it all got blown back to the shore where it could be retrieved. After they had found and starting purifying water, they next were given a situation where they were on a long hike and had gotten lost. They were out of food. Their job was to find plants or animals to sustain them. The reeds and grasses were easy to find; the cattail was out-of-season. They did find and EAT rolly pollies, worms, and beetles. GROSS! Then I switched groups and went with Mrs. Vogt. I thought I would be safe away from that crazy Mrs. Sage...
Mrs. Vogt also had a situation into which the children had to immerse themselves. She had them act out the basic first responder aid for three situations: possible heart attack, snake bite, and possible broken leg. They did really well. I wish they had been on the battlefield in Gettysburg. They could have saved some of our soldiers. After everyone was saved, she then gave them another situation in which they needed to signal for help. They immediately started putting up flags with bright clothing, using their mirrors, and creating SOS signs on the ground. It was pretty impressive. I felt really safe.
Next, we all headed to the Poudre Learning Center for a deserved lunch. We only had 30 minutes to eat, but I still took time to look through the telescope to view the bald eagles nesting across the lake. It was an amazing sight. I am so glad they are our national bird.
After lunch, it was back to work. I went with Mrs. Sage again - you would have thought I would have learned by now - to do fire building. The groups each had a knife and flint. They were taught how to safely pass and use the knife, were reviewed with about the different order and types of materials necessary to start the fire, and then off they went. All three groups were successful getting a fired started even in all of the wind. I do smell a bit smoky. Then I switched to a group led by Mrs. Weaver, an employee at the Poudre Learning Center. She had created a compass scavenger hunt for us. My team was really great, and we located all of the items. By now, I was exhausted and windburned. I was ready for an afternoon nap, but it was not to be.
We walked a great distance to the edge of the Poudre River. Mrs. Sage read another situation card and the students were told to build a shelter that would house their team and protect them from precipitation, wind, heat/cold, and animals. I was stumped, but they took off and got to work right away. Mrs. Sage also let the adults play; they were to work together to build their own shelter. They lucked out because one of the dads was an avid outdoors man and they took small trees in a grove, leaned them to a center spot, tied the trees together towards the top, then filled in the spaces between the trees with grasses. At the end when we took our tour of all of the shelters, none of the kids would believe that the parents had had the same amount of time to build; in fact, some of the children believed the shelter was already there and that the adults had cheated. :-) I watched them build it, so I gave the children my word as a witness. Grumbling, they finally applauded the parents' amazing work.
Mrs. Sage finally said we were going home. We had to walk back 45 minutes to the school. I then collapsed in the classroom until Mrs. Sage finished getting the students off for home and Spring Break, cleaned up the classroom, stored the field trip materials, and turned out the lights. I did absolutely nothing last night!
Today, Mrs. Sage is packing me up for my next location. I hope it is somewhere warm and peaceful.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Historical Plumb Farm - 4/1/10

After staying with Quen, I went to stay with a girl named Sophie. We got to go to Library for Specials. We typed on the computer, and the kids edited their paragraphs. Sophie is a pretty fast typist! Next, we went to Math, and I took a test. I got 25 points out of 27 possible points! Yeah, me! Then we went back to the Computer Lab to take a survey about how to make our school even better. When we got back to class, I loved to watch the kids blog about me and doing their writing. To end the morning, Sophie took me to Social Studies with Mrs. Vogt. In there, we talked about Hitler some more, and it scared me even more than last time. We even got to watch a video.
I was so glad that Sophie took me out to recess. We got to swing on the playground and walk around in the field. I got lots of love from Sophie's friends. We went into lunch then, and I stayed with Sophie's friends at the table until she got out of the lunch line. I wasn't hungry, so I didn't eat anything.
After lunch, Sophie had a reading test. I really didn't want to, so I just watched Sophie take it. From what I could tell, it looks like she aced it. She is very smart - her teacher told me that. After the test, we went to Sophie's Advanced Reading class where I watched the kids present their Wordles about Shakespeare's life. Sophie talked about his last will and testament. It was pretty interesting except I think he might have been a bit strange. Finally, it was Options Time, and we had Math Stations, but Sophie went upstairs to share a story with the 7th graders in Mrs. McWilliams class. I don't know why, but she didn't take me!
Once school was over, we drove home and stopped by Plumb Farm on the way. Plumb Farm is now a petting farm museum, but it used to be an active farm when Union Colony, now Greeley, was founded. While I was there, I took pictures at the house; I was kind of scared because there was a lot of metal and a lightning storm started up. We also got to take a picture by the harvester contraption. Then we went home to Sophie's house. I was glad to get inside. At Sophie's, we got ready to go to a Seder Meal. It went until 10:30 p.m. A Seder meal is where the Jews and Christians celebrate Passover. When we got home, I was really tired, so we all just went to bed.
Friday morning, Sophie brought me back to school and handed me off to Mrs. Sage. I'm a bit worried because it looks like we are doing something strange. She has handwarmers, ponchos, snacks, and juice on each student's desk, so I think she is going to drag me along on their Survival Field Trip. I hope I make it! More to come later.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Old Greeley Train Museum - 3/31/10

On Wednesday, after Remi had me on Tuesday, I met Quentin and I was with him all day. First, in Science we learned about CPR. It was really neat and gross. I hope I never have to give Quentin CPR! I stayed in during recess while Quentin finished his homework. I should have made him do it last night; I could have helped him.
When he came back from lunch, we completed a study guide for reading. I noticed that Quentin got most of the practice questions right. Hopefully tonight he will study! He promised me he would. Then we went to a reading group. Everyone thought Quentin was carrying a purse when it was really me in my carrying case. When we came back from reading group, Quentin got ready to go home and then played a game. He let me try, too.
After school, Quentin's mom picked us up. She took us to the Old Greeley Train Museum. I got two pictures taken of me. I also got some pictures to color and a Greeley Tourist Guide, so I can see what else to do here for fun. The Train Museum was so fun because I got to see old trains and some antique stuff. We saw two trains on the tracks.
Finally, we went home to eat before we went to church. I had nachos for dinner. I loved the spicy salsa. When we got back from church, Quentin tried to have me eat candy, but I didn't. Then we went to bed and were annoyed by Quentin's dog. Good night for now. See you tomorrow.

Island Grove - 3/30/10

Kenzie took me back to school in the morning. That is when another student took me to an historical site. His name is Remi, and I was with him all day. First, he took me to Social Studies, and we learned about Hitler and World War II. I thought it was quite icky! It made me remember all of the awful things that happened in the Civil War. After Social Studies, Remi went to recess, but he left me behind; he said it was an accident, but I'm not sure I believe him. I think he didn't want to be seen with a doll.
After he came back, he took me to a special class called, "Templates." It was boring. I already know how to read! Then a little while later, he took me home.
We went to his house and stayed there for a little bit but then went to Island Grove. I had my picture taken at least eight times. Island Grove is a place where rodeos happen where they ride horses, bulls, and it is a great place to go with your family and have fun.
After we left Island Grove, we went back to Remi's house, and I watched Remi do his homework. He never asked me for any help. Darn it! Afterwards, we watched a little TV. Then I ate dinner; Remi's mom made steak. It was delicious. After that I watched Remi and his little brother play his Xbox 360. They even let me take a turn. I failed 22 times! Rats! Remi's brother was kind of annoying. Finally, we went to sleep. I was exhausted!

Historical Greeley Hospital - 3/29/10

The second day, I was given to one of the students named Kenzie. I sat on her desk for the day. I saw work and notetaking on plants and animals that they can eat on their Survival Field Trip for Friday. I think that is disgusting, but they have to do it to get a good grade. Mrs. Sage also ate a piece of plant as she was showing the students how to tell if a plant is poisonous or not.
The bell rang at 2:00. I thought that was the best thing ever. I got to go to a different place. I went with Kenzie in her mom's car and went and got Sonic. Kenzie tried giving me a drink of her soda, but I didn't want any. Then we drove to Kenzie's home. I helped Kenzie with her homework. After homework, we went and met Kenzie's friend, Devreigh. We went to the park and played. Kenzie's grandmother, Sharon, picked us up and took us to the old Greeley Hospital where she lives. It is an apartment building now. I have a beautiful picture of me right in front of the old hospital.
We then took, Blondie, Kenzie's grandma's dog, on a walk. We even got to go blow bubbles. Next, we went over to Kenzie's friend, Krystina's house, to give Kenzie and Krystina time to practice their dance for the talent show tryouts. I was pretty impressed; they could really dance well to Star Struck.
After that, it was time to go home and eat dinner. We had goulash. I remember eating goulash when I was in the Civil War, but this was a lot yummier. After eating, I went with Kenzie to her room for her to read to me. After that we watched a small part of the movie, "Princess Protection Program." Then it was lights out and time for bed. I am very tired, so good night!

Sallie Ann in Greeley, Colorado 3/26/10

I arrived yesterday from an arduous trip. I was expecting spring-like weather, but instead it was freezing. I need to pull out my wool clothing to keep warm. Mrs. Sage, my hostess, unpacked all of my luggage and let her after school reading group look through all of my "stuff." I have to admit that I was blushing as they were so amazed at all I had brought to share with them.

Unfortunately for me, Mrs. Sage then shoved me back in my box and said that her class would see me on Monday! A whole weekend in a box is not very exciting. I am not very happy so far with this visit. I think I'll use this time to learn if the Civil War had any impact on the area of Greeley, Colorado.