DEARBORN — From drills to dance and camp life to medical treatment the seventh- and eighth-graders at Divine Child School learned about life during the Civil War during an outdoor re-enactment May 16.
The 17th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment Company E Inc. visits the school every two years and holds the re-enactment for one day through their military and civilian school program.
DC seventh- and eighth-grade History teacher Ross Tuscany said the visits began when another teacher from the elementary school had a connection with re-enactors.
The Civil War is part of the seventh-grade curriculum and the eighth-graders have already learned about it as well by the time re-enactors make their visit every two years, Tuscany said.
“Students get to try new and different things through the Civil War re-enactment,” Tuscany said. “The drills and other interactive activities keep the students engaged while educating them at the same time.”
At the tent and camp life activity, re-enactment solider Ed Vitez said he has been a re-enactor for 20 years because he wanted to convey history to the new generation.
“My favorite part of being a re-enactor is meeting interesting people and educating people about history so it’s not forgotten,” he said. “During this camp activity, students are learning about all aspects of a solider’s life at their tent.”
A real life physician, Dr. Gerald Turlo served as the re-enactor surgeon teaching students about medicine, wounds and amputations that took place during the Civil War.
“I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and my interest comes from being a physician in real life,” he said. “Seeing the students’ curiosity and getting them involved are my favorite aspects.”
Another activity students experienced was drills that soldiers would practice and conduct during the Civil War with the weapons.
The army captain re-enactor Nick Miner has been participating in re-enactments because of his love of history and to share history. He added that explaining the drills and how soldiers used their weapons, including rifles, is what he enjoys the most.
Along with the outdoor activities, artifacts relating to the Civil War were on display inside the school for students to learn about.
For more information on the military and civilian school program go here.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)