Will at the Battle of Gettysburg

  Will at the Battle of Gettysburg by Laurie Chalkhoven

In 1863, twelve-year-old Will, who longs to be a drummer in the Union army, is stuck in his sleepy hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, but when the Union and Confederate armies meet right there in his town, he and his family are caught up in the fight. Includes historical notes, glossary, and a timeline of events.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What were Will’s dreams about war? How did his perception of war change through the book?
  2. Will describes how the Union and Confederate soldiers who ate at their table acted like old friends. How were they able to do this?
  3. Who is Abel? What happens between Will and Abel?
  4. Will dreams of joining up with the Union army, but each time he’s offered a chance, he turns it down. Why?
  5. Early in the book, Will says his father and brother would want him to join the army. Do you think he’s right?
  6. What was the role of the drummer in the Army? Why did Will want to be one?
  7. What was Will’s first impression of the Rebs when he sees them?
  8. Why doesn’t Will’s mother leave even after Mrs. Shriver says they’ll be killed if they stay?
  9. What did the townspeople do when the soldiers came to Gettysburg?
  10. What role did Will play in the battle?
  11. What did Will’s mother do during the battle?
  12. Who won the Battle of Gettysburg? What impact did the battle have on the war? What impact did it have on the townspeople?

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