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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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?

Park staff and volunteers demonstrating using lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the cannon's primer

The soldiers who came to Fort Smith in 1817 were still using some 18th century technology and drill. The cannon was discharged using a lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the primer, which originally was loose powder or a turkey quill filled with powder.