Greenwood Community Middle School students will get to step back in time to experience the Civil War this week.

Re-enactors will be at the school to teach students about the war.

Social studies teacher Nathan Rhinehart tells you what you need to know.

When is the event?

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What is the Civil War Day?

We will have three re-enactors portraying Union and Confederate soldiers and two people demonstrating a Union artillery team with a re-creation of a Civil War era Mountain Howitzer.

Two women will talk about period dress complete with hoop skirts. We have an expert on Civil War Navy, a Gov. Oliver Morton re-enactor, and a food station where the students can sample salt pork and hardtack.

We have a surgeon that will go over the process of amputation. There will be additional stations that deal with more specific aspects of the time period.

At the end of the day, the students assemble on the football field, weather permitting, so we can fire a cannon.

How many times have you conducted the event?

This will be the eighth year of the event, and it has grown each year.

How has the event grown?

I have reached out the 49th Indiana re-enactment group and made many contacts there. Really, we work with the volunteers about their area of expertise and let them do their thing. It is a great way to get the community involved with our school.

It is an all-day event. The students do not attend classes, but instead travel to the 12 stations throughout the day. I am so very lucky to have fellow teachers that allow me to take a day and offer this experience to the kids.

What do you want students to get from it?

Creating a personal connection to the past is as difficult as it is rewarding. We try to tell the kids that their lives do not happen from page to page — there is depth and emotion and trials and victories. This was a difficult, confusing time in our country’s history. Not unlike today.

There were decisions and reactions 150 years ago that have lasting effects on our lives today. Sometimes we ignore them, sometimes we embrace them, but we cannot deny them. It is our job as educators to prepare students for the future, and a substantial portion of that performance is understanding the past.

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Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.