Updated 5/31/12

In Podcast #57 the Trekkers take you to Harpers Ferry in West Virginia.  At the time of John Brown’s Raid in 1851, Harpers Ferry was still part of Virginia.  West Virginia didn’t become a state until it broke away during the Civil War in 1863.  And although Harpers Ferry is in the Blue Ridge Mountain region, we also visited some important places in Leesburg, Virginia, which is in the Piedmont region.  So this podcast is a bit of a mishmash of topics (including pie)!  We’ll start at John W. Tolbert Elementary before beginning our tour.  Visit the George C. Marshall Center, and find out about this Nobel Peace Prize-winning Virginia citizen; take a quick tour of Balls Bluff Battlefield, the site of a Confederate victory in 1861; and explore Harpers Ferry, where John Brown’s famous raid took place. Come on, let’s go trekking!

Since we visited three important spots in this podcast, we have three “Did You Know’s!”

George C. Marshall Center - Did you know that George C. Marshall named his house the Dodona Manor after the ancient Greece oracle at Dodona?  The priests and priestesses would listen to the wind rustle the leaves of the sacred oak trees and convey messages from the gods to the people who came seeking guidance.  Since there were many oak trees at George C. Marshall’s house, he named it after the Greek oracle. (Source)

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SOL Correlation:

K.2 The student will describe everyday life in the present and in the past and begin to recognize that things change over time.

2.3 The student will identify and compare changes in community life over time in terms of buildings, jobs, transportation, and population.

VS.2c The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by locating and identifying water features important to the early history of Virginia (Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, James River, York River, Potomac River, Rappahannock River, Lake Drummond, and the Dismal Swamp).

VS.4b The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by describing how the culture of colonial Virginia reflected the origins of European (English, Scots-Irish, German) immigrants, Africans, and American Indians.

VS.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new American nation by c) explaining the influence of geography on the migration of Virginians into western territories.

VS.7a The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by identifying the events and differences between northern and southern states that divided Virginians and led to secession, war, and the creation of West Virginia.

VS.7b The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by describing Virginia’s role in the war, including identifying major battles that took place in Virginia.

VS.7c The student will demonstrate knowledge of the issues that divided our nation and led to the Civil War by describing the roles played by whites, enslaved African Americans, free African Americans, and American Indians.

VS.9b The student will demonstrate knowledge of twentieth- and twenty-first century Virginia by identifying the impact of Virginians, such as Woodrow Wilson and George C. Marshall, on international events.

VS.10b The student will demonstrate knowledge of government, geography, and economics by describing the major products and industries of Virginia’s five geographic regions.

The oracle at Dodona, Greece

Loretta Janeta Velazquez

Balls Bluff Battlefield - Did you know that one of the Confederate soldiers who fought in at the Battle of Balls Bluff was actually a woman in disguise? Her real name was Loretta Janeta Velazquez, but during the war she was known as Lt. Harry T. Buford.  She wrote in her diary that she was “revolted” by what she witnessed during the battle and said that her “heart stood still.” (Source)  Nevertheless, she went on to fight in other battles until her true identity was discovered, and even then she continued to serve as a spy.    

Harpers Ferry - Did you know that a famous patriotic song called

the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was first a song about John Brown? It was called “John Brown’s Body,” and Union soldiers used to sing it during the Civil War. One day a woman named Julia Ward Howe, overheard the soldiers singing it, and decided to write new words to accompany the catchy tune.  She published her famous song in 1862. You might recognize the chorus which says, “Glory, glory, Hallelujah! (3x) His truth is marching on.” You can listen to it by clicking here.

“John Brown’s Body” Song

Blue Ridge