SPAN teacher Sherry Hartly plays with a Civil War game during a Civil War Living History Program on Friday.
SPAN teacher Sherry Hartly plays with a Civil War game during a Civil War Living History Program on Friday.

Archived Story

Civil War program transports students back in time

Published 4:19pm Friday, April 26, 2013

Caleb Davis, a Thorsby Elementary fifth grader, is an avid Civil War fan.

Not only does Davis don a gray “Kepi” that he purchased from the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on a daily basis, but he excitedly reads any Civil War book he can find and believes he might be related to Jefferson Davis.

“There is something fascinating about the Civil War,” Davis said. “I really got interested in it when I was in third grade and now I can’t get enough of it.”

Davis traveled to the Alabama Historical Commission’s Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury for a Civil War Living History Program on Friday with his mom, Amy, and grandmother, Karen Gay.

Amy said she decided to bring Caleb due to his interest in the Civil War and got an excused absence from school for Caleb to be able to participate.

“He just loves anything that has to do with the Civil War,” Amy Davis said. “It is his best subject at school and it is something he enjoys learning about.”

Caleb Davis said Robert E. Lee is an inspiration to him due to him being an “excellent general.”

“I think Lee did a good job because his troops took him seriously,” Davis said.

Davis said he loves answering questions in his school classroom about the Civil War time period and received a musket replica for Christmas.

Davis enjoyed learning about the Confederate flags, having the opportunity to try on some replica military clothes and learning more about the time period he is currently studying in his fifth grade curriculum at school.

However, he did not enjoy the loud boom of the cannon repeatedly firing early Friday morning.

“That would have been one thing I would not have enjoyed if I was alive during the Civil War,” Davis said with fingers in his ears. “It is way too loud.”

Civil War enthusiast and site director for the Confederate Memorial Park Bill Rambo rode around the park during the morning session from 9-11:30 a.m. atop a white horse meeting and greeting students, parents and local residents who came out to learn more about the Civil War era.

“We hope everyone visiting today is able to learn something they might not have known previously about the Civil War,” Rambo said. “It is perfect weather and we couldn’t have asked for a better day.”

Although several school groups from across Alabama attended Friday’s event, there were few schools from Chilton County.

Rambo said he is considering having the yearly event changed to a Saturday to accommodate more people and hopefully have a much larger attendance.

“We scheduled the event for today because we wanted to have more school children come but it might be best to schedule it for a weekend next year,” Rambo said.

The program allowed participants to view and handle clothing and equipment, hear historical facts about the Civil War and listen to a musician that asked for group participation to sing along with a song about eating “goober peas.”

Terre Lawson showed off her spinning techniques with a spinning wheel replica that could weave, knit or crochet.

Ryan Blocker’s station displayed Civil War toys and games that would have been enjoyed by children with the popular game being “bat and trap.”

“There were a lot of simple names for simple games,” Blocker said.

For more information about the park, call 755-1990.

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