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Major Duane
09-27-2006, 01:31 PM
Here is my situation:

I've been a military CW reenactor now for almost 21 years. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on that side of the house. I am also a high school history teacher. I am in the process of writing curriculum and grants to fund a ACW course at my high school. There would of course be the standard book/lecture component, but I'm also going to make it immersive. Hence, the final exam will be to particpate in a reenactment within state near the end of each semester. I have an impression and an estimate of finances for the male students, but I need some help in narrowing things down for the female students.

I am hoping to field a company of engineers and a contingent of aid society/nurses (who actually are functional and know how to do something).

My plan is to have the female students represent a civilian aid society/volunteer nurses and I need some direction as to where I might procure "working dresses/camp dresses" at an economical price--along with appropriate footwear. Remember, this is a public school program with minimal funding (what I can raise and get from grants). I want to do this as correctly as possible, but I'm on a budget.

I am planning on using McPherson's BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM as one text, but I also need a suggestion on a text from the female perspective (I know about Mary Chestnut, but that is TOO long for use in this course and many of my students wouldn't read it). Can you suggest something of high interest?

Thank you in advance for your help,

John Adams

bizzilizzit
09-27-2006, 01:44 PM
My plan is to have the female students represent a civilian aid society/volunteer nurses and I need some direction as to where I might procure "working dresses/camp dresses" at an economical price--along with appropriate footwear. Remember, this is a public school program with minimal funding (what I can raise and get from grants). I want to do this as correctly as possible, but I'm on a budget.

I am planning on using McPherson's BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM as one text, but I also need a suggestion on a text from the female perspective (I know about Mary Chestnut, but that is TOO long for use in this course and many of my students wouldn't read it). Can you suggest something of high interest?

John Adams

Where to begin!!!
I would suggest checking the Classified Ads for Civilians on this site for "gently used" clothing - also Ebay for same.
As for a "text" - are you looking for a Northern or Southern woman's perspective of the war?
Elizabeth

Major Duane
09-27-2006, 01:51 PM
I would like something that is a balanced perspective from both sides. Something about women and their contributions in general to the war effort and how they served.

Thanks,

John Adams

bizzilizzit
09-27-2006, 02:14 PM
I would like something that is a balanced perspective from both sides. Something about women and their contributions in general to the war effort and how they served.

John Adams

Try these:

Women in the Civil War: Extraordinary Stories of Soldiers, Spies, Nurses, Doctors, Crusaders, and Others
by Larry G. Eggleston (Author) 2003


Amazing Women of the Civil War : Fascinating True Stories of Women Who Made a Difference
by Webb Garrison (Author) 1999


Those Courageous Women of the Civil War
by Karen Zeinert 1998


Women of the War: Their Heroism and Self-Sacrifice : True Stories of Brave Women in the Civil War
by Frank Moore (Author) 1997

Elizabeth

catspjamas
09-27-2006, 04:05 PM
Since these will be high school students and it's a one time thing (at least it sounds like it) you should have the students buy their own shoes. You can get lace up ankle boots at Goodwill for $5. Under a long skirt they pass as appropriate, especially if it has a flat heel. You might enlist the drama department to help and the home ec dept. (I know it's not home ec now, but I don't know what it's called). Skirts are real simple to make, you don't even need a pattern. Just cut material the right length plus hem, sew 2-3 panels together, gather at the top, add a waistband, and hem. The tops could be more difficult to come by. If you have a good relationship with a sutler, you might could ask if they'd be willing to donate items, like sun bonnets. You might even check with your local community theatre, they might be willing to loan you items.

Cats

MrsArmstrong
09-27-2006, 04:13 PM
The Unsexing of Emma Edmonds comes in DVD. You may be able to get it through the school system. It was excellent!

Susan Armstrong

Major Duane
09-27-2006, 05:42 PM
Yes, it will be a one time thing--so the boys and girls will have to buy their own shoes, hats, and eating utensils. The rest will hopefully be reused for the next class.

John Adams

mmescher
09-27-2006, 08:29 PM
[QUOTE=MrsArmstrong]The Unsexing of Emma Edmonds comes in DVD. You may be able to get it through the school system. It was excellent!

If you are looking for a copy of the DVD, Ragged Soldier Sutlery (www.raggedsoldier.com) is the only US retailer for the movie. It is available at a special introductory price at this time.

Michael Mescher

Delia Godric
09-28-2006, 06:14 AM
Since students will only be dressing once per semester, you may want to contact a local living history museum's costuming department. They may have some recommendations for you. Our local LH musuem runs a summer camp style program for children and teens. The participants are loaned clothes to dress for the week. The museum has a significant supply of 1830s(ish) clothing on hand for the program. It would be great if you had a local place to work with that is willing to loan the clothing. I don't know how likely that is. They may be able to tell you (and show you) how to economically make the clothing in large quantities.

The suggestion for involving the Family & Consumer Science (home ec.) classes is good. At my HS we have a few classes that could contribute. There is a fashion history class and a class that does some basic sewing. I think learning the structure of a bodice is a good lesson for a fashion class.

Good luck with your endevour.

Anna Worden

ElizabethClark
09-28-2006, 09:51 AM
If you're going for a "basic historic flavor" for the girls, look at:

One-fabric, one-piece dresses, hemmed about lower calf
White cotton petticoats (one or two)
Aprons
"Make-do" leather-look ankle boots and knee-high white or black cotton socks

That's going to be about as simple as you can go without bringing in a ton of anachronistic stuff. IF the class participants learn to sew, they can make the entire ensemble for about $40 in fabric, thread, and patterns (using free patterns for the apron and petticoat--both of which will be up on our site in the next week, and having them buy the 4551 Martha McCain Fashion Historian dress pattern from Simplicity during a chain store's $2/pattern sale.)

Two Books:

Excerpts from "My Story of the Civil War" by Mary Livermore
The entire volume of "Hospital Sketches" by Louisa May Alcott (her memoir of war-time nursing)

Delia Godric
09-28-2006, 12:18 PM
I recieved a nice school catalog from the Memoral Art Gallery (Rochester, NY) yesterday which prompted me to look at some additions to their website. Here is a page that I thought you might be able to use in your course if you talk about art work reflecting the war. http://mag.rochester.edu/seeingAmerica/essays/18.swf
There are other pages similar to this in their Seeing America Exhibit.

Anna Worden