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Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Siege and Battle of Corinth" (with photographs); on Peter Cozzens, The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1997); on Margaret Greene Rogers, Civil War Corinth, 1861-65 (Corinth, MS: Rankin Printery, 1989); and on material prepared for the Siege and Battle of Corinth Commission. It was made possible by the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program. The lesson was written by Jenniffer Wamsley, education specialist at Shiloh National Military Park and elementary teacher in Corinth, and Gloria Cartwright, secondary social studies teacher with the Corinth City Schools. It was edited by Fay Metcalf, an education consultant living in Mesa, Arizona; by Kathleen Hunter, an education consultant living in Hartford, Connecticut; by Marilyn Harper, a National Park Service consultant; and by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. The lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: lesson could be used in units on the Civil War or in courses on technology.
Time period: Civil War
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To explain why gaining control of the railroads in Corinth was important to both the Union and the Confederacy.
2) To describe the course of the Siege of Corinth and the Battle of Corinth and to evaluate their impact on the course of the Civil War.
3) To describe the fortifications constructed during these engagements and to analyze their importance.
4) To examine the role transportation routes played in the formation of the student's own community.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) one map showing major railroads in 1860 ;
2) three readings about the siege and battle and about fortifications;
3) four illustrations showing entrenchments and Corinth after the Siege;
4) four illustrations showing Corinth and the aftermath of the battle.

Visiting the site
Corinth is located in northeastern Mississippi, approximately 22 miles southwest of Shiloh, Tennessee, on Highway 22. The historic crossover of the Memphis and Charleston and the Mobile and Ohio Railroads is represented today by the crossing of the Illinois Central Gulf and the Southern Railroads at the western edge of town.

Remnants of the extensive earthworks and fortifications built by the Confederate and Union armies are scattered throughout the landscape surrounding Corinth. A Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, operated by the National Park Service as part of Shiloh National Military Park and located at the historic location of Battery Robinett on Linden Street, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is closed only on December 25th. For more information, contact the center at 662-287-9273. For further information on the center and on Civil War sites in Corinth and the surrounding communities in northeast Mississippi, contact Shiloh National Military Park, 1055 Pittsburg Landing Road, Shiloh, Tennessee 38376 (call 731-689-5696), or visit the park's website.

The Northeast Mississippi Museum, located one block west of Business Highway 45 at 45 North Fourth Street in Corinth, contains Civil War artifacts and historical images. Call the museum (662-287-3120) for open hours. Additional information can be obtained by writing the Northeast Mississippi Museum Association, P.O. Box 993, Corinth, MS 38834, or visit their website.

 

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