Backyard History: Rifles, Rails and the Civil War

By Holly Giles | Field Trips

backyard history event at wooten park

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Backyard history

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.
civil war soldiers
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.
grayson and grant at the train
Our recent unit on the Civil War has actually taken us two years to complete. We keep finding too many good books to read. In addition, several events have 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!

History in your town

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. Then they “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!
conductor protecting passengers
Conductor bringing grant along to help
Grant was not expecting to be pulled into the confrontation. He is just
glad they didn’t drag him off to the horses!
train robbers captured at history event
shoot out at the history event actors
Spring is full of historical events near you. Similarly, State and National parks host events that are 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.
drummer for backyard history event
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.
talking to the civil war soldiers
Where will you find history in your town?
grayson and grant on the civil war train
Just don’t taste the hardtack, it is not worth the chipped tooth.



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.