The kids and I went on our last school field trip for the '08-'09 school year. We went to the Shiloh National Military Park to see where one of the many Civil War battles happened. It was a beautiful place, so open and green; but thinking of how many men died there in that one place was quite sobering. Civil War history (well, history in general) has always fascinated me. I try to comprehend what the real reason behind this war was. I still read conflicting reports and information regarding this. My post today, however, is not about why the Civil War occurred, but rather the outing that my kids and I had with other families from our home school cover.
The day was as beautiful as the scenery. Low 70's with a breeze and full sunshine. The tour entailed viewing a 25 minute video on the Battle of Shiloh. It was a video from 1957, so the quality was not very good. After the video we went to see a man dressed as a Confederate soldier give a rifle demonstration. He also explained the purpose of his uniform and gear.
Next we toured the cemetery where the Union soldiers were buried. The Confederate soldiers who died there were left in the mass graves that were dug for them - sad. After the cemetery walk we went to the book store and looked at overpriced souvenirs. Thankfully my kids didn't bug me to buy them anything (even they knew the stuff was overly priced). A picnic lunch was enjoyed after the brief shopping. The kids played freeze tag for several minutes after we consumed our lunches. Oh how I wish I had their level of energy!
Finally we loaded up in our vehicles and went on the driving tour of the rest of the battlefields. We saw monument after monument and canon after canon. The last site on the tour was the "Bloody Pond".
After leaving Shiloh, we decided to stop in Corinth, MS to go through an interactive museum. There we read even more information regarding the Civil War. It was here that I read a few things that I had never heard before, which causes me to question the whole "why did this happen"? This was a small museum, but packed full of information including several copies of letters and diary entries from the soldiers and their families. The kids viewed a couple more short videos and listened to some "eye witness" accounts portrayed by actors via recordings.
We finally started back home. This was almost a three hour drive one way, so our entire day was taken up with this one field trip. It was enjoyable and educational - just what a field trip is supposed to be!