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War Between the States

Emperor and Elf are proudly displaying their battle flags. We marched down to the park, singing "Dixie" and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." We passed many friendly people admiring the boys in the blue and the gray. The boys shot marshmallows at each other and I think Elf got quite good at staking out vantage points. Emperor kept trying to hug the toddlers at the playground, and this resulted in his being pelted by many marshmallows. :] We ate day-old biscuits and beef jerky and drank from our canteens (aka, small plastic water bottles). Elf ran out of ammo midway during the second battle. We talked of how that felt, to have an enemy with plenty of ammo and your being cornered. We called it his Appomattox Courthouse moment. While they were fighting, the ants discovered the marshmallows on the ground, as well as all of our biscuits. I tried to convince the boys that it would be a more authentic Civil War experience if they ate the biscuits with the live bugs in them, but they didn't feel like participating in precise historical re-enactment in that regard. Some of the marshmallows had been helpfully removed from the battlefield by hungry toddlers, but we still had a bit of work to do. We packed up, cleaned up the rest of marshmallows around the park, and threw away the buggy biscuits, and started home. We passed by the same ladies we saw on our way to battle. Elf had his head down, sad that he had lost the war. He was so disappointed (um, even though he knew we would pretend the South lost at the end. I guess it doesn't make losing easier). "The South lost," I explained to the ladies as we passed. "Don't you worry! The South will rise again!" they encouraged, waving, as we marched on our way home.


  1. I am SO impressed! This is a really fun lesson they will never forget.

    By the way, not for your kids, but for yourself--have you ever read the book "Andersonville?" It's written as a novel, but pretty accurate description of life in the Southern prison camp of Andersonville. You could find it through your public library system. It's a VERY worthwhile read.

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)

  2. OO! That sounds like a good (scary, thought-provoking) read. I heard of this camp through the Ken Burns Civil War documentary. The pictures were awful.

  3. I love the reenactment and all the details you included to make it more realistic: the songs, the clothes, the flags, the food. Love, love, love it!

    My condolences, however, to Elf.

  4. What a great idea! I know this stick with them foever. Those neighbor ladies sound cute.

    Tell them the bugs add extra fiber and crunch.

  5. What fun. Your kiddos are blessed to have such a creative teacher!

  6. Do did Emperor give the Gettysburg Address? Or was a gentleman with a beard and top hat invited?

  7. Sounds like things went well, despite the war [smile].


  8. fun! in 8th grade our school did the battle of bunkerhill where we all wore either red or blue and threw waterballoons at each other to reinact it.


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