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The Civil War Comes Alive

Some of the items that a confederate soldier might have with them during the war.

Boom, boom, crack!
“What was that?”
“That was a Civil War bullet” said the Civil War re-enactor, Gary Shafer, who came to Rocky River Elementary School for the 5th grade classes to talk all about the Civil War. He talked about the Confederate Flags, what they had to wear, the musket and some things that they could bring with them to war.

The Confederate Flags
The Confederates had to change a lot of their flags. One flag was white with stars and bars in the top left hand corner. This was a nice flag until the Union thought that it was a surrender flag. The Confederates used the same flag but with a read bar on the right over the white. This flag was easier to tell from a surrender sign. One day, they made a new flag called the Stars and Bars which is the one that they used for most of the war and is the one we know of as the Confederate Flag today.

What They Wore
When the Civil War re-enactor came, he was wearing a full body outfit of gray with a gray hat and bad shoes. They had two little bags that they wore on their belts. In one of those bags, they put bullets. In the other, they put their personal belongings. They got a canteen of water to take with them as well.

The Musket
A Musket is a kind of gun that both the Union and the Confederates used. The musket is a tall brown gun which can shoot at about 800 meters. It takes 2-4 minutes to load a musket and holds about 3 shots. If you shot 100 bullets, you would have spent most of your time reloading the gun. A bullet, once shot into a person, “would look flat and disgusting” says Tatiana. The bullets were not well made compared to the bullets that we have today but would do a lot of damage to a body if they hit it.

The Death Toll
More than 100,000 people died in the War as a result of musket wounds and sickness, some were captured by the Union, and some were never found. “I thought that the Civil War was cool. After Mr. Shafer visit, I learned that it was really very dangerous to be in the war.”, said Oved. “I learned that even children fought and died in the war. These children were as young as 10 and 12”.

Things to Bring to War
In the Civil War, you could not bring a ton of things with you. You could bring a tooth brush, a brush, a sewing kit and a journal or Diary. “I thought that seeing the pipe, comb and brush that they would have carried was amazing” said Dominique. Why would you bring so few things? You had to carry all of your possessions with you or leave it at camp in your tent. They did not bring a lot of things because if you wanted to live, you had to be fast and not have things weigh you down to make you slow or tired from carrying it.

Life at Home
“Mr. Shafer talked to us about what the women and girls did during the war”, says Makalah. Life was hard for them. They had to do the work of the men around the farms because all of the men were gone.

Several students from Mr. Martin’s 5th Grade class contributed to this article. Thank you to Anna, Tatianna, Oved, Dominique and Makalah for their information and enthusiasm in contributing to our website.


Written by: Anna Bartlett, Mr. Martin's 5th Grade Class. Pictures by Student Photographers
Posted: Mar 24, 2010 by Kelleigh Bland

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