Friday, April 5, the 20th Maine Regiment re-enactors came to SES to show our eighth graders a thing or two about how civilians in the Civil War dressed, how the soldiers marched, and what the war drum sounded like.

On Friday afternoon, the eighth grade went into the gym, and was quickly split into two groups. The first group was sent outside and were given Quaker guns, which are pieces of wood shaped into a gun, and then they were formed into lines as if they were soldiers. The drum major played a tune and explained what the tune was and what it meant when he played it. When he was finished the eighth graders got orders to move their guns this way and that, and how to march. We think they marched as far as the playground and turned around and went back into the gym once it was time to switch groups.

While the first group was outside having fun, the second group was inside learning what a civilian girl would wear every day and what a Union soldier wore everyday during the war. A woman would wear layer, after layer, after layer, of clothing just to be modest and there wasn’t a care in the world to them how hot it might have been, they needed to be modest and wearing tons of layers was how they did it!

The lady who was teaching us all of this brought in some of her clothes and as she explained to us what each item was for she put it on a student! Once she was finished we switched our attention to the Union soldier re-enactors. They, as well, picked a student and showed each item of clothing to us and then mounted it on the student. One of them explained what the belt held, what the thing across his chest held, and what the symbols and things he wore meant or what they stood for exactly.

Around the middle of the period, the groups switched and the first group did what the second group had just done and vice versa. The re-enactors mentioned to us that they always loved newcomers to join if anyone was interested.

We thank our history teacher, Ms. Langteigne, for setting up this wonderful, educational experience, and we also would like to thank the 20th Maine Regiment Re-enactors for giving us that experience of a lifetime!


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