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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Road Construction I-540

    Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »

Life of a Civil War Soldier

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).

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

Group Size: 45 maximum

Areas Visited:

  • Park classroom


This program will take place in the park classroom.

Return to Ranger Guided

Did You Know?

Portrait of Anna Dawes

A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.