Kevin Levin posted today about Virginia’s Standards of Learning Test, offering a sample of one question on the exam for fourth graders that raised far more questions than it was designed to answer.
Perhaps he should not have stopped here. Here are some learning aids for one Virginia county’s “alternative learning center.”
Here’s a Concentration-style matching test. Or try this matching test. You can find more here.
As for Virginia’s history standards across the state, click here. There’s a lot to examine, if one is so inclined.
In the continuing discussion over black Confederates, one piece of evidence that receives much attention is Dr. Lewis H. Steiner’s account of events in Frederick, Maryland in September 1862. An inspector for the US Sanitary Commission, Steiner witnessed the passage of Confederate forces through the town, and left us with a description of their appearance and composition.
His entry of September 10, 1862, has received especial attention, because of his report that some 3,000 blacks were part of the Confederate force that day. Steiner estimated that the Confederate force he saw that day numbered at most 64,000 men (including the 3,000 blacks); most discussions overlook the fact that the next day Steiner claimed to see another division of some 8,000 pass through the streets (he does not specify if the Hill in question is Daniel Harvey Hill or Ambrose P. Hill). So that’s a Confederate force of 72,000 men, which seems to be a lot more than the size of the force that fought at Antietam on September 17.
It occurred to me that not many people have read the entire document, and they have not weighed its value as historical testimony. The link offered above offers a gateway to a PDF of Steiner’s account. Here’s your chance to be a historian. Tell us in the comments what you find.