Friday, September 18, 2009

The Battle of Antietam

What would you do on a beautiful Friday morning, when you don't have anything else scheduled, after a very productive week? Invite your friends to join you in reenacting the Battle of Antietam from the Civil War, of course. We have been studying the Civil War (I know, I know, we've been studying the Civil War forever...I plan on finishing this fall) and one of the books we are using suggests acting out the Battle of Antietam to give the students a sense of what troops moved where and when. To make it work better, we could have used 10 more people, though we made due with our 22 children. (Well, really it was 19, since one was off at a doctor's appointment and the babies weren't really old enough to participate.) It did make for some slim Confederate troops. At one point one of the 13 year old girls, representing an entire Confederate company, was doing her best to ward off more than a couple of Union troops. And another time, the youngest participants, who were on the same side, became enamored of the game and started wrestling each other. The whole thing was a success and everyone came away with a better sense of what happened that day. Unlike the real battle, we followed ours up with a picnic lunch and play time in the park. It made for a couple interesting conversations with some of the other people who happened to be there.

For those whose history is rusty...the Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862, was the single bloodiest day long battle in American history. Both sides had heavy losses of life, with the Union losing more men, but the Confederates losing a greater proportion of their total troops. It was considered a Union victory, but only just. In honor of the Union victory, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The participants preparing for battle.

This is the Curry family, the P family and the H-S family, minus one boy, in age order. K. is in there on the left...he got a little pushed out when I had them squeeze together because they weren't all fitting in the camera frame. It's a little hard to see them all, but if you click on the picture you can see a bigger version of it. A. is wearing the Civil War general costume I made for B. several years ago.

2 comments:

Just Mairs said...

Sooo...which side were the twins on? We're about to do a civil war re-enactment with a local Christian groups who puts them on twice a year - this will be our first attempt at it!

thecurryseven said...

They were evenly divided. Robert E. Lee was holding onr and George McClellan was holding the other.

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