A Day in the Life of a Civil War Soldier

July 7, 2009 at 11:04 pm (Uncategorized)

Last week the kids and I got to go on a Day In the Life of a Civil War Soldier field trip.  When I saw the sign up for it I knew all 3 kids would like it, but I knew my youngest would LOVE it!  (Which is actually funny since the advertised age for the field trip was 7 and up!)  My little man wants to be a soldier when he grows up.  He loves all things related to the military.

The day started out with a man who participates in Civil War reenactments coming to talk to the kids. 
He came in dressed in full uniform and carrying his weapon.  He told the kids that in the Civil War the soldiers would have carried all their belongings into battle with them since they never knew where they would be after a battle.  Then he started unpacking his backpack and showing the kids all the things he was wearing and carrying.  (In this picture he had already put his backpack on the table.)

In the picture below you can see that he has taken off much of his formal uniform.  He told the kids that the shirt they all wore underneath the uniforms would have been their own, so they would all be different.  He said normally the shirts were handmade by the soldier wives or mothers.  I loved it when he said that the actual shirt he was wearing was made by his mother!

In this shot you can see that the table is getting pretty full!  Can you imagine carrying all that into battle??

Once he had gone through all the items with the kids he let them get up close and personal with the items!
Here they are looking at the Civil War era money he brought.

This is my favorite shot from the day.
Somehow the man giving the presentation just seemed to know that my youngest was in love with all this.  He made a real point to give him some special attention.  (Which my little man LOVED!)  In this picture he had come over to my son and was showing him the rubber blanket that they carried.  The blurry kid ran into the picture just as I was taking the picture.  But, it was just such a sweet moment for my little man!  I love how they are so intently looking at each other as they discuss their common interest. The 50 year age difference meant nothing!

In this one you can see the rubber blanket a bit better.
He said this was the soldiers most treasured item because it kept them from sleeping on the wet ground and could be used as a shelter in the rain. 

Here are some of the items on the table…

The backpack, blanket and a dry pair of socks.

My daughter trying on a hat!

And my son had to try it on too!
I spent much of the day trying not to be neurotic about my children trying on hats that 50 other kids had just had on! (And watching to see if anyone was scratching their heads!  LOL)

This was his pocket watch with a fob that was made from human hair.  He said it was common for the soldiers to have one of these as a keepsake of a loved one.

My daughter with the epaulets from the soldiers uniform.

Here is my little man looking at a cool Civil War era picture that was printed on a piece of mirror.
I couldn’t believe the was letting kids hold this!

This was a sewing kit they all carried that they called a housewife. :^)

The next part of the day was a hands on exhibit about the Civil War…

Here are the littles dressed up in period costumes.
Notice the pants around his ankles!  ROFL!!!

They had SO much fun dressing up! My 5 year old is still talking about it.

Here he is finally getting control over those unruly britches! hehehe

Here is my little man checking out some Civil War pictures.

And my daughter reading a Civil War newspaper.

A table of cool things to check out.
Gun powder flask, toothbrush and tooth powder, shaving brush and soap, quill pens and ink well, mirror and penny whistle.

My oldest two playing checkers.

A table of food and related items.
Hard Tack, beans, coffee, chocolate, cups, silverware.

Pine canteen

Writing on a slate.

A Penny Whistle

The last part of the day was learning about how museums investigate historical items.

My daughter got a historical docment to check out.

My little man got a cone of sugar.

Again at the end of the day my youngest found some time to hang out with the soldier.

One last shot of the whole gang!

It was a great educational day!

Happy Homeschooling,




  1. JIMMIE said,

    What a fabulous exhibit/performance! Those kinds of things make learning come alive! 🙂


  2. redaredding said,

    This was a wonderful field trip. I wish there was one in my area.

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