On a beautifully sunny Colorado day in the middle of April, history came to life right in the backyard of The Vanguard School. Around two hundred fifth and seventh grade students, together with their teachers, dressed in historically appropriate attire for a Civil War reenactment of the Battle of the Wilderness.

After studying the Civil War in their history classes, teachers at The Vanguard School wanted to give their students a truly hands-on experience by providing them with the opportunity to participate in this reenactment. Before the the event, students spent some time in training where they learned how to follow drill commands like a Civil War regiment might have.

On the day of the reenactment, dressed as either Confederate or Union soldiers, students wore clothing with stripes or stars on their uniforms, indicating to other reenactment participants the appropriate ranking each of them held. Throughout the day, the students battled it out as real Civil War soldiers may have done, shooting toy guns by blowing through a small straw that sent flour “bullets” out of the other end, effectively mimicking what a real battle may have looked like. Assistant Principal Clint Randall, dressed as General Grant, issued orders to the Union troops, urging them to continue to engage the opposing Confederate soldiers in war.

Now in its second year, The Vanguard School hopes to continue to offer this event annually to their students. Allowing students to live out part of history holds great value, as Vanguard's students were able to solidify their knowledge and understanding of the Civil War and will always remember what they have studied.

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Great way to learn history. Of course, for the record, CMCA has been invited on more than one occasion to join the CMSD students in their annual American Revolutionary War Reenactment. CMSD 5th graders have done this with You Can Live History for 20 years!

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