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Lesson Plans


Black and white photograph of William P. Powell, Jr. in a military uniform August 1863, seated with his elbow and hat resting on a table beside him. Courtesy National Archives, Washington, D.C.
William P. Powell, Jr.,
August 1863
Courtesy National Archives,
Washington, D.C.

Elementary Lesson Plan Blue arrow pointing right

African American Surgeons and Nurses in the U.S. Civil War is prepared for 4-6 grade classes. In this lesson, students examine a primary source document—i.e., Dr. Augusta's letter to President Lincoln, written in 1863—as a case study of an African American who became a doctor and worked with African American soldiers in the Union army. Students also read the biographical sketches of Dr. Augusta and one of three other Civil War African American doctors and nurses.


High School Lesson Plan Blue arrow pointing right

A Potent Remedy: African American Surgeons and Nurses of the Civil War Era are lessons for students in 10-12 grades. In this lesson, students view and closely example several primary sources and their transcripts that introduce two Civil War African American surgeons and a nurse. Students build on their existing knowledge about African American doctors and nurses during the U.S. Civil War, through their reading and analysis of those primary sources, including a record of a congressional debate on the resolution to desegregate Washington, DC, streetcars.