• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

Life of a Civil War Soldier off-site program

Program Description:

In this hands-on program students will get an in-depth look at the everyday life of a Civil War soldier. Whether fighting for the Union or the Confederacy, soldiers on both sides faced the same challenges and were similarly equipped. Through group discussion and compare & contrast students will gain a better understanding of what being a soldier in the Civil War was really like. Hands-on items include replica Civil War clothing, shoes, haversacks, and bullets (mini-balls). In addition to an up-close view of a reproduction Civil War musket rifle, students will learn the steps necessary to load and fire the rifle musket.

Students will learn about:

  • The daily life of a soldier
  • Uniforms worn by both Union and Confederate Infantry soldiers
  • Equipment soldiers carried
  • Food soldiers ate
  • What soldiers did for entertainment
  • Civil War weapons

Length: 60 minutes*

*Note: When making the reservation please inform park staff of the length of the class period in which this program will be given. The program can be adjusted as needed.

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Did You Know?

Interior of jail cell with box for prisoners to visit with their lawyers

The conditions at the federal jail at Fort Smith were so horrible that it received the nickname "Hell on the Border." Up to 50 men were crowded into one large cell with limited ventilation and poor sanitary conditions.