History Comes to Life at Wading River Elementary

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Fifth-grade social studies students at Wading River Elementary School had their recent classroom lessons on the Civil War come to life when Civil War re-enactment group Boots and Saddles visited the school on May 30.

The students rotated between four encampments, learning about the Calvary, the infantry, medicine of the era and civilians in the war.

At the Calvary encampment, students learned how soldiers rode horses in battle and were treated to a demonstration where members of Boots and Saddles shot their guns at balloons on the school’s field.

At the infantry encampment, students watched a variety of Civil War battles played out, felt the heavy wool clothing soldiers wore and learned about places where the soldiers slept.

The medicine tent taught the students that there were no antibiotics during the war, and nothing was sanitized, resulting in the loss of limbs for many soldiers.   

The fifth-graders also saw how women dressed during the time at the “civilians in the war” tent, where they learned that women in the 1860s dressed in layers upon layers, sometimes taking up to three hours to get dressed in the morning.

“History came alive today,” said Principal Stephen Donohue. “This is a fabulous program that allows kids to learn hands-on.”

This is the 11th year that the school has welcomed Boots and Saddles.