Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Old Abe the Battle Eagle; Discovering Civil War Music

Posted on: March 2, 2012

Old Abe the War Eagle

What primary sources do you see in the display?

A while ago I joined students on a field trip to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota. We enjoyed a presentation featuring live eagles and learned about conversation and the eagle as our national symbol. Old Abe, the Wisconsin War Eagle is the subject of a special display. The field trip was ideal for a short follow-up activity to learn more about the mascot of the Wisconsin 8th regiment. Abe perched atop a staff during battles.  After the war Abe lived in the Capitol Basement; he later died from lingering injuries he suffered in a Capitol fire. Abe’s taxidermied body burned in another fire.  Students learned how Abe was honored in
Old Abe the battle eagle song & chorus poetry  and identified states a Historic Eagle Map of the United States.
Sheet Music, Old Abe the Battle Eagle
It was a great teaching moment in the media center!

Civil War era music is easy to find in American Memory Collections. Start with:
Civil War Band Music

Nineteenth Century Song Sheets

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850 – 1920

African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920
The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana

Learn how to use and other Civil War era resources to develop engaging, critical thinking activities for students

Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources 

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