About This Site

This site offers an opportunity to explore the sights, sounds, tastes, and challenges faced by real-life Midwestern people in 1863 during the American Civil War. Everything here is designed to enhance readers' understanding of the lives of 20,000 Americans, forced into homelessness by Order No. 11 in 1863.

Activities and study helps are provided as a supplement for :

  • Just Following Orders: Escape from Guerrilla Warfare in 1863 (for 7th and 8th grade) +
  • Mighty Tall Orders (simplified version on a 5th and 6th-grade reading level)

    Author Dee Ann Miller, with co-author Nancy Ketter, offer two versions of the same story because Nancy, as a reading specialist with more than three decades' experience, felt it immensely important to give every middle school student a chance to understand the complex political and social issues of the 19th century which strangely reverberate into our world today. She also knew how exceedingly rare it is for teachers to find the same story on two levels so that reluctant readers may study alongside their peers in the same classroom. Nancy's vision comes as a gift, both to struggling students and to their teachers.

    Throughout the site, the title "Just Following Orders" refers to both versions. Since the chapters are identical in content, activities and various study helps correspond to both books the same.