Day 4: Experiencing Fear and Hope at Historical Sites

Students were asked to take a few moments to consider the emotions of fear and hope at the following historical sites we have visited thus far. Below are their answers and photos of our visits today to Brawner’s Farm at 2nd Manassas Battlefield in Virginia, the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, and our previous visit to the Rankin House.

How and where did you feel or see FEAR and HOPE in either the historical events that took place  at the following sites or how they are interpreted today? 

Rankin House, Ohio:

  • While there was certainly a lot of fear at Rankin House, hope was the underlying theme. Hope that slavery would be over. Hope of a better life. Hope for society.
  • Fear can definitely be seen at the Rankin house, particularly by the people involved in bringing the slaves through the underground railroad. With the constant fear of being caught or attacked by bounty hunters, the fear was always close by, but the underground railroad and the people helping slaves through it bring hope for the coming society, one without slavery.
  • Fear was obvious for those involved with helping the slaves escape. The Rankins’ often had to fight off bounty hunters with gunfire and risk their lives The slaves faced oppression and death until they reached Canada. Hope was possibly because the slaves could gain a free life and those who helped contributed to compromising the slavery system.
  • The slaves that escaped to the Rankin House were almost certainly filled with the hope that they could escape to freedom. But they were almost certainly scared because if they failed they would be sent back into the cruel conditions of being a slave in the south.
  • I felt the fear at the Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio. The view of Kentucky across the Ohio River from the Rankin House, displayed the courage and struggle of the slaves seeking freedom. The slaves faced constant fear from bounty hunters and being captured.The Rankin House was not complete freedom, but was a place was they could safely rest and resupply. It was astonishing that John Rankin helped escort 2,000 slaves to the North. Reading about the Underground Railroad in literature does not fully capture the fear that slaves felt. Seeing and experiencing the actual site where this terrible time in history took place does.
  • Fear surrounded the Rankin House.  The owners feared being attacked by slave catchers, slave catchers likely feared the returning attack from the owners, and the slaves feared being captured and punished for trying to escape.  There was, however, the hope of escaping slavery and a new life.

Brawners Farm: 2nd Manassas, Virginia:  (It is here Wisconsin soldiers that include Jerome Watrous & Indiana troopswatrous young gain their reputation which will lead to their acknowledgement as the best troops in the Army of the Potomac). Lee’s success overall at 2nd Manassas sets the stage for his Antietam campaign which we will begin early tomorrow morning.

  • Confederates fought Jerome Watrous & his fellow Wisconsin troops 80 yards away (Marked by fence in distance).

    Confederates fought Jerome Watrous & his fellow Wisconsin troops 80 yards away (Marked by fence in distance).

    With lines less than 100 yards away, you could sense the fear and the bravery at Brawner’s Farm, but there wasn’t much hope. The reality that the war would be longer and that there would be many more casualties was setting in.

  • The fear of the battlefield could be felt even now, the musket fire and the bloodshed that happened at such close range would be enough to send anyone running. It brings fear that the war will be long and grotesque and bloody just like the battles.
  • The battle at Manassas was very interesting because it started the bloodiest war in U.S. history. The fact that ideas can create such a huge divide in a country, pushing relatives and friends to pick sides and fight to the death. Since the end of the Civil War, the country has been constantly fearing a recurrence of a war. This fear has lead to people standing down to commonly accepted ideals that could possibly lead to large divides, possibly pushing people over the edge.
  •  The fear of imminent death was prominent during 2nd Manassas and the close range fighting lead to an
    Marker showing where the 6th Wisconsin (Watrous) fought at Brawner's Farm.

    Marker showing where the 6th Wisconsin (Watrous) fought at Brawner’s Farm.

    inability to ever cease fighting; fear of death was constant. Hope came for the Confederates through victory, and for the union in the tough fighting of the iron brigade and other western groups.

  • The Union soldiers at second Manassas show that with fear also comes a little bit of hope that you can win or at least lessen your losses. The Union soldiers defended against a larger confederate army, most likely scared because of the fact the your enemy is about 80 yards away shooting at you. But they were also probably filled with hope that they could win.
  • At Manassass it was crazy to think of how close the troops were fighting. One could see the other side clearly and the impending destruction must have been very frightening. Every 20 seconds a volley would be fired. The time in between volleys would have been quiet and that would have driven someone crazy knowing that very soon he could be dead.During the first night of the second battle of Manassas, the soldiers feared shooting at the enemy because doing this would reveal their position and make them likely targets.  There was the hope of surviving the battle and winning the war before it continued into the north.

Pentagon 9/11 Memorial Site:

pentagon entryThe Pentagon Memorial for 9/11 was a symbol of hope. It was an extremely powerful experience. While there were many deaths on 9/11, the memorial served to show that America would stand tall in the face of crisis and terror.

I felt the fear at the Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio. The view of Kentucky across the Ohio River from the Rankin House, displayed the courage and struggle of the slaves seeking freedom. The slaves faced constant fear from bounty hunters and being captured.The Rankin House was not complete freedom, but was a place was they could safely rest and resupply. It was astonishing that John Rankin helped escort 2,000 slaves to the North. Reading about the Underground Railroad in literature does not fully capture the fear that slaves felt. Seeing and experiencing the actual site where this took place does.  The 9/11 memorial definitely shows the fear in people that something like this might happen again, but ultimately shows hope in society in the sense that people can recover from anything if they band together.

300px-Aerial_view_of_the_Pentagon_during_rescue_operations_post-September_11_attack9/11 illustrated the strength of the American people in the face of danger. Despite terror and death on 9/11, hope also existed.

Center of Impact was located 6 windows over to the left between the first & second floors.

Center of Flight 77’s Impact was located 6 windows over to the left of the 3 wooden doors between the first & second floors.

The Pentagon, our head of security in the United States. It is a safe haven for the workers, who would try to attack the Pentagon? On September 11, 2001 the Pentagon was hit by an airplane. It was scary to be at the place where an act of terror took place, and over a hundred people died. I was standing right there, fearful but I felt a sense of hope. A sense of pride in what it means to be American. It was a powerful experience but a one worth wile.

  • The 911 memorial at the Pentagon clearly shows how the American people react to something as scary as that of the events that took place on 911. This shows that when the nation is exposed to something as frightening as the threat of further terrorist attacks on the United States, the people will mourn then will be filled with hope that they can make a change.
  • Looking at the Pentagon where it was hit, I was filled with fear by the thought of watching an airplane cross the highway to the West and hit the building.  There was hope in the fact that the goal of the terrorists was to break our spirits but we did not let that happen.
  • Close up view of the 3-year old girl's memorial bench who was aboard Flight 77.

    Close up view of the 3-year old girl’s memorial bench who was aboard Flight 77.

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3 thoughts on “Day 4: Experiencing Fear and Hope at Historical Sites

  1. Pingback: Monuments and Memorials: A Reflection | HistoricaLese

  2. Pingback: Day 7: Iron Men at Gettysburg | HistoricaLese

  3. Pingback: Remembering Those Who Fell & the Spirit That Lifted Us Up after 9/11 | HistoricaLese

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