On Friday, April 26, 2019, 4th grade students from Chattooga County Schools toured local historical sites that contain Civil War history.  This standards based field experience allowed students to uncover how the Civil War impacted citizens in Chattooga County.

From a Civil War re-enactment camp at Alpine Church to bugle calls from Bethel Church in Gore, students were entrenched in this learning opportunity. The field experience consisted of five stations throughout Chattooga County.

At station 1, 4th grade students discovered what camp life was like for the confederate soldier and learned about the role that Alpine Church played in this harsh war.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #507 and State of Dade camp #707 shared different tools, stories, and artifacts used by the Confederate Army.

Traveling on to station 2, the Trion Factory (aka Mount Vernon), Mr Jimmy Day further expanded their Civil War knowledge by sharing primary sources and oral histories pertaining to local skirmishes that occurred in the Trion area and throughout Chattooga County.

Students begin realizing the rich history that our county has pertaining to the Civil War as they traveled on to Station 3, Willow Springs Park, where Confederate Captain Cleghorn resided in the day.  Historians Marlene Bryant, Rosita McCamey, and Sharon Stephens shared the contents of a civil war traveling trunk leased from the Atlanta History Center by the Chattooga County Historical Society.  With this trunk, students learned further about the life of a soldier, their uniforms and weapons, some of the major battles and outcomes of the war, with key objects from this trunk. Literature pertaining to the Civil War was shared with the students and as they listened contently to these ladies, their awareness of how patriotism from local citizens influenced this community.

Confederate soldiers died at alarming rates, three times that of the Yankee soldiers, and nearly every household mourned someone lost.  Led by local historian Mr. Steve Strickland, students took a walking tour through the Summerville cemetery, to analyze the loss of lives and view many confederate solders’ tomb stones.

Students were roused to the call of the bugle at station 5, located at the historic site of Bethel Church.  Mr. Jerry Pollard familiarized students with bugle calls that helped soldiers organize camp routines and to guide troopers through mounted drill and battle.

CHS students Adam Dawson and Timothy Hartline performed a short skit about the McFadden brothers, who fought and died together side by side, with the Confederate scouts.  Mrs. Charis Baird, CHS teacher of US History, shared further research regarding the remarkable concentration of Civil War service in this remote church community.

Students walked through the small grave sites of these beloved brothers and embraced the tragic tale from the dramatized performance.  Although Chattooga county was spared any major battles, the Civil War came calling in many highly destructive forms, and the 4th grade students learned of the causes, battles and the concentration of Civil War service in our community through this field experience.

The 4th grade students and social studies teachers of Chattooga County schools would like to thank each of the volunteers, bus drivers, Chattooga County Historical Society and school administration who supported this learning endeavor.

“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey


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