Student Spotlight: The Attack on Fort Sumter: A Short Journalistic Reaction

Spotlight Student: Dustin, 10th grade

Teacher’s Description of Task:

For this assignment, students were to read an excerpt from Mary Boykin Chesnut’s diary, which is written from the Confederate perspective. Students were to write a short journalist-style one-to-two-paragraph report on some aspect or the outcome of the attack. In additional to synthesizing key information from Chesnut’s diary entries and responding with an alternate style of nonfiction writing, students were to infer a different perspective, writing the short piece from the perspective of a Union journalist rather than that of a Confederate.

Student Article:

April 13, 1961

Fort Sumter – Yesterday, Confederate soldiers surrounded the Union, who were trapped behind the tall walls keeping the two sides involved from seeing each other. The Confederates had sent letters to Major Anderson to surrender and give the fort to them. Until yesterday, the Union had not shown concern and had not been willing to give the fort to the Confederates. Beginning yesterday, activity and tension have grown. The Confederates have been confident about their actions. Reports have shown that before the attack Confederates were partying and enjoying great food. Yesterday, winds from cannon balls came blasting into the fort. Men were shouting and cannons fired all night. Women were also reported to have been screaming, praying, and crying all night. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported, except a soldier who was shot while attempting to raise the fallen Union flag.


Let Dustin know how well he’s done or give him something specific you like about his work. Leave a comment below!

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