Backyard History: Rifles, Rails and the Civil War

By Holly Giles | Field Trips

 History never captured my attention when I was in school.
Memorizing dates and names did not link me with real people
and how our country was shaped because of them.

Now, it is one of my favorite subjects that I share with my boys.

We love a good historical fiction book to curl up to on the couch.
Searching for more information and visiting the places history
happened, makes a permanent impression.
I love to share our backyard history with you because I know you
have all of these things in your backyard too. No matter where you live, 
history has taken place. Go out and find it, interact and live it.
Our recent unit on the Civil War has actually taken us two years to complete.
We keep finding too many good books or events come to town that we must
go and experience. Civil war encampments are a fun walk back in time and
a time to be thankful that wool is not our fabric of choice anymore!
Rifles, Rails and History is a yearly event at a historic train station. They
set up camp for four days along the banks of a lake and “live” like it was
wartime. If you take the train, beware of rogue soldiers stealing money
for the confederate, you may be part of the heist!
Grant was not expecting to be pulled into the confrontation. He is just
glad they didn’t drag him off to the horses!
Spring is full of historical events near you. State and National parks host
events full of history in a natural setting. Find out what is happening in your 
area, hit the library for a few books to go along and let history take you places 
you have never been.
The men, women, and children who are passionate about history and gather
at these events breathe life into stories you may not have heard. When someone
takes the time to get down to your child’s level and engages them in a story,
it will spark a love of learning.
Where will you find history in your town?
Just don’t taste the hardtack, it is not worth the chipped tooth.

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About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.