Have students read and discuss Dora’s entries of April 28 and May 28, 1863. Answer the following questions:
April 28th entry:
♦ What were Dora’s main worries about living under siege?
♦ What did she do when her shoes wore out?
♦ Describe Dora’s nightly experience with shell explosions and the shore batteries as Yankee gunboats ran past Vicksburg. Did she seem scared, excited, or fascinated?
May 28th entry:
♦ Describe Dora’s desperation of being under siege. What does she men by the question, “Would it be wise like the scorpion to sting ourselves to death?
♦ How does Dora describe the behavior of the people of the city? What are their main concerns and routine?
♦ What meal routine did the citizens begin? How was it related to the shelling?
♦ Describe Dora’s view of the people sitting in front of their caves eating. How did they behave when the shelling began?
♦ What was Dora’s main diet during this time? Describe her meals and how she felt about eating such strange food as mule meat.
♦ Dora describes a pair of chimney swallows who built a nest in her home’s parlor chimney. When the shells explode around the home, parts of the nest fall into the fireplace. What do the birds do when that occurs, and what does it tell us about how creatures adapt to war and violence?