Graysville 5th Graders learn about the Civil War

Civil war cannon
Graysville teacher Carrie Daniels is assisted by Bruce Peterman as she prepares to fire the cannon. (Photo by Dean Wilson)

Students look on as teacher fires Cannon.

Bruce Peterman and Alfonso Rodriguez of the New Rhea County Spartans recently conducted a Civil War history class at the Graysville Elementary School.

Social Studies teacher Hallie Martin has made it an annual tradition to invite the Spartans to the school to give her fifth grade students a chance to learn more detailed information regarding the Civil War.

Mr. Peterman was extremely knowledgeable on the details of the Civil War. He conducts approx. five lecture/demonstrations per year. His demonstration is carried out with the hands-on approach which brings great entertainment to the children. Everyone who participates in the demonstration gets the opportunity to examine some of the authentic relics from the Civil War era.

Some of the relics on display were Confederate Money, cannon balls, and a $20 gold piece, but there were many other items on display. The students gathered in the gym and anxiously awaited the program to start.

Civil War Dresses
The 5th grade girls pose along with teachers in their Civil War era dresses. Also pictured – Alfonso Rodriguez and Bruce Peterman of the Spartans. (Photo by Dean Wilson)


The girls of the class along with teachers, Hallie Martin and Carrie Daniels, had the opportunity to dress in authentic looking ball gown dresses from the era, all of which were handmade by Cheryl Peterman.

Two of the students were chosen to participate, one to represent the North and another to represent the South. Each were given the chance to dress with full uniform and gear as worn by the actual soldiers during war time.

After the lecture portion of the program, all students were given a chance to examine an extensive amount of memorabilia, tools, and weapons from the Civil War Era.

Alfonso Rodríguez demonstrated how the soldiers carried and loaded their black powder rifles using an authentic 1844 Harper’s Ferry Rifle. Of course, the highlight of the morning came at the end of the program when the students reconvened outside to witness a live firing of an authentic cannon. If you’d like more information on the Civil War or the Spartans, please feel free to call Bruce Peterman at 423-718-3999.

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Dean is a Contributing Editor with Rhea Review. Dean has developed an interest in local history and has published a historical website relating to our history.


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