history and games

Friday, January 14th, 2005

What should Otey do next?

1. Compose another dispatch
2. Call in the signalmen
3. Run like hell

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The above is a possible starter scenario. The object could be to have students build the paths, one of which would reflect events as they are best known. Two approaches are important here that reflect the objectives of the course on the war: to teach what happened (history) and to teach multiple kinds of analysis (the means of examining evidence). We don’t need to think of such exercises as totalities but as small exercises in immersive experience.

The fact is I don’t know what happens to Otey. We do know that Chatanooga is cleared of non-combatants, Bragg returns on the 21st, and Rosecrans tries to figure out how to cross the Tennessee River for an approach to the city from the west.

It;s one thing to say: Rosy had a tough time crossing this massive body of water. It’s another to think at the cursor. The key is “thinking at the cursor” to enliven historical problems.


One response to “history and games”

  1. Christopher says:

    I’m just having a problem getting my head around thinking at the cursor. Perhaps that’s the problem.

    I’m going to look through some of my material and try to find some details like this for a historical event and try to put something rough together. My largest concern about creating a historical teaching tool is to have it be not only interesting to the student, but also acceptable for use by the powers that be.