Students learn Civil War history
July 11, 2011
How easy is it to fit six Civil War soldiers and their equipment into a six-by-eight-foot tent? What happens when a soldier is wounded? How does a pontoon bridge work? What did a soldier eat? How did armies communicate? What was life like for those left behind?
More than 1,600 students in Connecticut and Rhode Island have investigated the answers to these and other questions through Rally ‘Round the Flag, a program that immerses students in Civil War history. Students participate in interactive, hands-on activities to better understand the people and events that shaped the war. Each unit pairs primary source information with an activity.
In The Engineering Corps, students learn about the large numbers of men, animals, and supplies in each army; the logistics of movement across distances; and the effects upon the countryside. Then, in a water tank, they build a one-quarter-scale pontoon bridge that is strong enough to support students walking across it. In another unit they interview a soldier, try on a reproduction uniform, and learn to march and drill. Other activities include signal wig wag, a system of communicating using flags to spell out words; codes and ciphers; creating journals; dancing; and Civil War medicine.