Meeting General Grant

I took my children to meet General Grant last weekend. 

He was pleased with the way the war was going and quite willing to tell us all about his writing desk, fancy tent and even show us a picture of his wife. Kids meet General Grant

Later we watched his troops oust a group of Confederate soldiers from their earthen work line of defense, so it seemed his confidence was well placed.confederate soldier

The battlefield was very loud but not too intimidating. Of course by that time we had already met a few of the horses. Abe, in particular, had been loved and petted while we heard all about his training.DSCN0948-(2sm)

And we had visited the artillery camps, on both sides, and learned that they traveled with far more horses than the cavalry, when to plug our ears and who owned the cannons.

That's not an out of focus picture that's smoke from the cannons!

That’s not an out of focus picture that’s smoke from the cannons!

The 1st Tennessee Partisan Rangers had shared a few contraband juice boxes when we visited their camp earlier, so they were a lot less intimidating than they could have been when we saw them rush into the battle.  Confederate TroopsAnd since they had also walked us through how their guns loaded, fired and what they were and were not putting in them we knew just what these guys were doing.

Union troops

Watching the first “casualty” fall was a bit of a shock but yet another soldier had prepped us well on such things when he let us handle his bayonet.

Union Troops

That was right before he introduced us to a few southern belles that taught us everything we ever wanted to know about war time fashion. Which was after we talked to the woman spinning wool but before we spoke to the lady about quilts made for the underground railroad.Aunt Helen and Ivy

So yes, the battle was loud and a little bit intimidating but we’ve already got plans to go back next year!


Maybe we’ll see you there? Wade House Civil War Weekend

As a happy coincidence this weeks Go Play, Go Learn challenge is all about engaging with history!


4 comments on “Meeting General Grant

  1. Living history re-enactments are wonderful history teachers, especially for children. The black-and-white posed photos in books make historic events and people seem so… well, dead. One (minor) downside is that these re-enactment groups are comprised mostly of middle-aged (or older) men who have come to embrace the importance of history as they learn to appreciate their role in the pageant of life. We need to remember that the huge majority casualties in this war (and all the other wars of America) were young men, some barely out of boyhood, who had their whole lives ahead of them.

    • Jessie says:

      (nod, nod, yup nod, nod)

      And one of the great thing about the reenactors is that they will be the first to point that out – but only if you are willing to talk to them!

      To a certain extent you get out what you put into these things. You can watch and look and see a spectacle, or you can engage and find out everything you wanted to know and beyond!

  2. […] Jessie of Behind the Willows shared her experience with some Civil War living history. […]

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