Principal John Swick and senior speech class members in character. Wende Carr
In honor of America’s sesquicentennial celebration, TOW eighth graders participated in a recreation of the American Civil War era on Friday, May 17.
This event was ideal for eighth graders, whose curriculum had them studying the Civil War for about a month in the autumn, according to history teacher Mark Johnston.
The day began with a presentation by three members of the 148th Gallant Volunteer Infantry Division of Waterloo. Dressed in Civil War era uniforms, they spoke about the life and times of a soldier. They also demonstrated use of various props which were used during the Civil War era.
Suellen Leonik in Civil War era civilian outfit. Photo by Wende Carr
Suellen Leonik, civilian co-coordinator of the 148th New York Volunteers, is a cousin of Lisa Hanford, who works with Town of Webb School’s dining services. Ray Derby and Jim Goloski posed as soldiers during wartime in 1863.
Chelsea Hanford, a Webb graduate who is a member of the volunteer organization and now teaches in Alaska, provided the presenters with pilot bread, which is modern-day “hard tack” available only in Alaska. Students were able to sample hard tack and take home copies of a recipe to make it themselves.
Anne Phinney on horseback with her riding student Lauren Holt. Michele deCamp photo
Students heard about the shortage of food Union soldiers often suffered, having to fend primarily for themselves, and the diet they did consume. Salted meats, dehydrated vegetables, rice, beans and coffee complemented the hard tack they ate. A soldier might drink up to a gallon of coffee a day.
Confederate soldiers had access to cornmeal, which they’d cook in the grease of meat they’d already cooked. Students learned from Derby’s character that five or six soldiers would share the cost of a frying pan, a valuable commodity at that time, and taking turns carrying it. Continue reading