SHSND Home > North Dakota History > Unit 3: > Set 6: Military Gardens 1864 - 1880 > Section 4: Activities

Unit 3: Set 6: Section 4: Activities

Activity 1:

  1. Martha Gray Wales’ mother baked a lemon pie for her family as part of her effort to prevent scurvy. Find a recipe for lemon pie and try to determine how much Vitamin C it would contain. Why was lemon pie popular on the frontier?
  1. What vegetables were in your school lunch yesterday? How much vitamin C did you get from that meal? You can find out what the nutrient components of different foods are by researching them in the US Department of Agriculture nutrient data laboratory website:
  1. General Trobriand, the Fort Buford traders’ records, and Private Sanford reveal the price of food available at army posts on the frontier. Calculate the price of these foods in today’s dollars. What is the price of those foods at your local grocery? Use or another website to convert the dollars of 1867 to today’s dollars.
  1. Discuss: Army surgeons did not understand why Indians did not have scurvy. What ideas or assumptions prevented them from understanding how Indians remained healthy? Why didn’t the surgeons simply ask the Indians for more information?
  1. Discuss: Did the Army have a fit fighting force on the Northern Great Plains between 1864 and 1870? What could the Army have done differently to maintain the health of the soldiers?
  1. Are there any populations in the world who are susceptible to scurvy today? Why is scurvy a problem for these people?

Activity 2:

  1. Historians use a technique for measuring the significance of a single topic that appears in a document such as Private Sanford’s diary.  Use this chart to analyze the importance of food to a private soldier stationed at a remote Army post.  You may find more topics to list than those suggested.  Make a mark in the downloadable chart any time one of these topics is mentioned.  Which topics get the most attention?  How important is food or meals to Private Sanford?

Click here to download the Chart as a PDF.


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