Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link World History Group RSS feed World History Group Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Civil War Times: October 1996 Editorial

Originally published by Civil War Times magazine. Published Online: September 23, 1996 
Print Friendly
0 comments FONT +  FONT -

From the Editor
From the Editor
Civil War Times
Civil War Times


There's just one thing I have to know, and that's: Did Armistead get to seeHancock before he died?" The question came from a mother who, together withher children, had attended a program I gave at the Bethel-TulpehockenCommunity Center, here in central Pennsylvania. She, like millions ofAmericans, had seen the movie Gettysburg, and had responded warmly to itsvignettes of personal loyalty, friendship, courage, and honor. Her newfoundinterest in the Civil War had begun chiefly as an interest in theindividual human stories of the great conflict.

The program I presented that day was geared for 6- to 10-year-olds. Titled"Jacob Miller: Pennsylvania Soldier in the Civil War," it traced theexperiences of a fictitious Yankee foot soldier, and included some talking,a few songs, and a display of artifacts. (Everyone chuckled when it turnedout that one of the youngsters in the audience was named Jacob Miller.)At the conclusion of the talk, the kids (and several adults who had joinedthe fun) came up to try on replicas of a Hardee hat and a kepi, and totouch the artifacts. Every child in the room had to lift the smallartillery projectile I had brought along, and handle each of the mini?balls.

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to Civil War Times magazine

The kids-and the grown-ups-were all engaging in the two kinds of activitythat help people develop a genuine curiosity about history, and even a lovefor it. First, they were discovering the "neatness" of the historic"stuff": the look of the uniforms, the elegant simplicity of the powerfulweapons, the martial splendor of the insignia. Second, they were learningto imagine history through the eyes of people who lived it-to appreciatethat the people of the past were really, truly people, just like them. Forthe woman who asked me about Armistead, Gettysburg had accomplished thissecond task.

My parents exposed me to a lot of "living history" as I grew up, at placeslike Colonial Williamsburg and Old Sturbridge Village. That helped nurturewhat would become a lifelong interest in how the people of the past livedtheir lives, what skills they had, what they ate, what they wore, etc. Now,I try to take my own children down the same path of discovery that Itraveled, exposing them to the "old stuff" and the people of the past.Fortunately, my wife is a good judge of when enough is enough!I can only hope that the movies, the talks at community centers, the livinghistory, and all the things that let people "enter" the past and appreciateit will continue to capture the imaginations of youngsters and grown-upsalike, and lead them into a deeper and more mature understanding ofhistory.

(By the way, if you're wondering about Armistead, he never did get to seehis friend Hancock, who was also seriously wounded.)

Jim Kushlan, Editor, Civil War Times

Toolbar Imagemap
© 1996, The History Group of Cowles Enthusiast Media. Allrights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express
written permission of Cowles Enthusiast Media is prohibited.

Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Related Articles

History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet? is brought to you by World History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
World History Group

World History Group Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer!
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2015 World History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy