Friday, September 24, 2010

Fort Snelling--Civil War

(This post is part of the back log I am working on. If you are getting it in a reader, I apologize, things will be out of order!)
This was week number three at Fort Snelling, the last of the series for homeschoolers at the Fort. This week, we explored the Civil War. Kiddo is fond of the wars, which in general shocks people. He is a very calm, kind, quiet kid, so the fact that he is very interested in something as violent as war, and in particular, the weapons, just doesn't line up. But he is fond of the wars. And the weapons. So there ya go.

The fort does a great job creating educational events. We spent time in the medical building (again), but this time, while we learned a bit about the medical side of the civil war, it was also home to information about the U.S. Sanitary Commission. They had a great deal of interesting information to share! If only I could remember it all (or find my notes!). The kids got to roll bandages, then apply them to a willing volunteer. Photobucket
He looks happy to be injured, no?

They also talked about some of the things that were new ideas during the civil war--like keeping the bathroom areas separate from the living areas. They also now used quinine, from the bark of the cinchona tree, to treat malaria, which was common. They were beginning to understand that disease might be caused by something coming from outside your body, rather than an imbalance of your own body (too much blood, too much water, too much bile, etc.).

The Commandant's house had displays about life at the time. We were introduced to some rules of etiquette, which was fun. We also learned about chairs! A fun tidbit. Men's chairs had arms, women's did not. The arms would get in the way for their sewing and needle work. And of course, for the large hoop skirts! As uncomfortable as I though the skirts looked, the women wearing them assured me they were far more comfortable than the layers required previously.

Kiddo's favorite sign:

That's right. Civil War Weapons. A whole room. Sigh.

Thankfully, there is always someone there to talk about such things, since I am clueless. Guns, not really my thing. We were also fortunate that when we arrived, there was only one other family there, giving Kiddo more opportunity to see things. It also turned out that the older boy in the other family was very interested--and knowledgeable--about guns. He knew what questions to ask, which resulted in a great deal of information being taken in by Kiddo. He followed the boy around, wide-eyed. I spoke to the mother of the boy while we waited for the boys to exhaust wither their interest or the gentleman answering their questions. We also happened to be standing by the wall of the building when they fired the canon at the other end of the field and felt the walls shake. Very cool.

I know we learned more, but as I am posting this as a backlog post, I just can't remember. I do remember that it was another great day, and that we spent another 5 hours at Fort Snelling, something we can't seem to avoid.


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