Civil War Naming Game

When I stepped into my Civics class and took my seat in first row, I didn't expect the class to be very exciting. We were studying the important people in American Government, something that I had only started trying to learn and study. Although Mr. Noyes did, that day, have an interesting idea for our class. He asked us how many of the people we could name from memory and write on the board. It went around the room, until he was looking for someone who thought that they could name nine.

The whole time I was counting off who I could name, and Mr. Noyes looked at me then asked, "Can you name nine?"

"No." I shook my head, so far I had only gotten up to five that I could come up with from memory.

"Can you name nine generals from the Union army in the Civil War?" He asked me and I perked up slightly. My reputation of a Civil War buff had grown over the last year, considering I was also wearing my Chamberlain shirt.

I nodded, I most certainly could name nine Union Generals. "Are you sure about that?" Mr. Noyes said.

"I bet she could." My friend Katie's voice sounded from two rows back. I'd talked to her about the Civil War to her far too many times.

Mr. Noyes directed me to stand up and I stepped around my desk to the front of the room. He handed me a small piece of chalk. "Take this."

Reaching for it, he dropped it in my hand, although of course it slipped through my fingers. We both kneeled to pick it up at the same time but my teacher got it first and placed it in my hand. This time I didn't drop it. "Go to the back of the room," he told me, "And write the names on the back board."

"Alright." I walked to the back of the room and glanced back at him once more.

"And no looking," Mr. Noyes instructed as he was going to try and bet me, writing those that he could name at the same time.

I grinned and turned towards the board.

Grant

Chamberlain

Hancock

Meade

Sherman

Sheridan

Buford

Hooker

McClennan

Burnside

Franklin

As I wrote, at one time, I heard one of the my classmates say, "Don't look at her board," although I doubted he would really do that.

After a time, as I tried to think of who I was forgetting, Mr. Noyes asked, "Bethany, you good? Turn around now."

Turning around and seeing Mr. Noyes board, I felt like a complete idiot. I'd left Reynolds and Sickles off of my list. And then I saw anything name that he had written as Armstead. "Armistead was a Confederate," I said, "And you spelt his name wrong."

"I knew there was a good reason why she didn't have him," Katie remarked, knowing exactly how much I loved to talk about General Lewis A. Armistead who I preferred to call by his nickname, Lo.

"Yeah, it was an i in it right?" he asked and I nodded as he crossed the name off the list, seeing as he wasn't even a Union General to being with, although it would have saved him a lot of heartache if he was.

Then, Mr. Noyes turned to his board and started going through his list, asking me how I had. We both crossed off the ones that we had each named, until we were left with from my board, Buford and Chamberlain, then from his board, Reynolds, Sickles and Custer. Once again, I felt like an idiot, because I knew who they all were and so even though he won by one, I felt that I should have been able to bet him. What a show that would have been, if I'd beaten my history teacher but of course that didn't happen.

Walking back up to the front of the room, I have Mr. Noyes his chalk back and took my seat again. He finally did have someone name nine people from the American Government but then he got involved in my favorite subject once again, the Civil War.

He started to draw a picture on the board, and it took me all of two seconds to figure out what he was drawing, from the time he drew the fishhook. It was of course Gettysburg. Then he asked who recognized it and my head shot up, although I was quickly told to put it back down. "I recognize the Round Tops," Katie said, after all I had told her more then she ever wanted to know about it.

"What is it then?" My teacher asked.

"Big Round Top and Little Round Top," My friend answered.

Although Mr. Noyes had just wanted the name of the battle. "Yes," he said, "But can you tell me about the battle."

Katie shook her head. I found out later she knew it was Gettysburg but hadn't understood what he was asking. She had thought he was asking her to give a step by step of the entire battle. Although that would have taken some time.

Mr. Noyes then talked about the battle and compared it with tactics from WWII and present day warfare. He went through the last day, talking about Pickett's Charge. He told how they had come across the field, although some of his facts weren't prefect and I quickly corrected him each time. After the third time he looked at me and said, "You're ruining a good story."

I shook my head to that. I was correcting the story and making it even better, although he did do a pretty good job of telling it. I just had to correct him when he said that Hancock and Armistead met at the point, because although I prefer to write it that way, they really became close during the Mexican American War.

The bell rang before I ever knew it, considering that it was a half day and the rest of the class left pretty quickly, although I was still smiling and I stayed back for a moment as we went to look at a list of Union Generals online, realizing that we'd all missed a lot, although no Civil War Buff can be prefect. We talked for a bit after that, before I left, knowing I'd have to walk fast if I wanted to stand a chance of getting to English on time. And even though I arrived late, my English teacher didn't say anything. Throughout the whole class, other then when I got called upon to read out loud, I thought back to the last class. It was my favorite Civics class the entire year and I wanted badly to try and bet my teacher with naming Confederate Generals. Although I figured I could try bringing it up to him at one point, since I do have him for homeroom each morning.