DOLA — On Sunday, October 20, the History Brigade took a step backward – all the way to 1864. Eleven students trekked to Indiana to visit the 30th Annual Hartford City Civil War Days where reenactors from across the Midwest gathered to demonstrate what it was like to live during the Civil War. The day started when soon after arrival President Lincoln guided us to a panel discussion with leading generals from the Union and the Confederate armies. We explored Civil War camp life, tasted authentic foods, and enjoyed demonstrations from a tin plate photographer, soldiers, and a surgeon. But the day ended with the thunder of the guns as the Union troops successfully drove Confederate forces from the field in a re-enactment of General Sherman’s defeat of John Bell Hood and the Army of Tennessee at Atlanta in July 1864.

For the students, the reenactment was both fun and education. According to 10th grader Jonah, “My favorite part while in Hartford City was when we got to learn interesting facts about the officers… I will always remember the cannon named ‘Betty Ann’. She could shoot a 20-pound cannonball over 2.5 miles. The smoke that rose out of her barrel was awesome.” For 9th grade Cadence, “My favorite part of Hartford City would be the actual battle itself because it was really cool to see how it happened and the way they marched”.

Of course, it would not be a History Brigade adventure without food – good food and lots of it! Once the battle concluded we were off to our next adventure at the world-famous Back 40 Junction in Decatur, Indiana. By the time we were done, we had consumed some serious quantities of prime rib, brisket, turkey, BBQ ribs, and more sides than we can list here. Let’s just be thankful that the Cross-Country team ran the day before and not the day after. It was a great day for history!