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Living history


Gordon Russell Middle School students learn first hand about the Civil War

History came to life Monday, April 15, for eighth-graders at Gordon Russell Middle School, as Union and Confederate army re-enactors descended on the school’s campus.

“This is a lot better than reading in a textbook,” Sarah Meyer, an eighth-grade student, said.

Each year, costumed re-enactors with the Northwest Civil War Council visit Gordon Russell to put on demonstrations of life during the Civil War. Throughout the day, Monday and Tuesday, clusters of eighth-graders made their way through ten Civil War stations.

“It is a ‘living history’ opportunity for students to get a hands on experience with a very important part of American history,” Eric Neiwert, an eighth-grade social studies teacher, said.

From firing a cannon onto the football field to learning about life on the home front, students got up close and personal with the Civil War era.

“If you add every single war we’ve ever fought in America, including up to today in Afghanistan, they don’t add up to the casualties in the Civil War,” John Leckie, a re-enactor portraying a southern artillery 1st Sergeant, said.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Pete Vrooman plays a corporal in a Zouave unit of the South. The chief distinguishing characteristics of such units were the zouave uniform, which included short open-fronted jackets, baggy trousers and often sashes and oriental headgear.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - John Leckie, portraying a southern artillery 1st Sergeant, explains the intricacies of a Civil War artillery unit.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Mike Tamerius, left, as a U.S. cavalry officer, and Tom Warrick, right, as a Southern cavalry officer, explain  Civil War weapons to students.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Gordon Russell Middle School students hold their ears as re-inactors fire a canon.