Boone students experience Civil War living

Becky Campbell • Updated Oct 18, 2019 at 10:57 PM

The fatback sizzled and johnny cakes fried in cast iron skillets over open fires Friday as several dozen Daniel Boone High School students got an idea of what Civil War soldiers faced every day.

Terry King teaches Civil War history and became a historical reenactor about 15 years ago, which led to bringing the war camp activities to his students.

“I like to bring the Civil War to life for my students, so we’ve been gathering other reenactors .... basically trying to give students a taste of what life for the soldiers in the civil war was like,” King said. “We’ve had them set up a camp with tents, cook food, we’ll be cooking authentic Civil War food — boiled chicken, green beans, johnny cakes, hardtack.”

Several groups of students were gathered around small cooking fires frying fatback, apples and cornbread cakes while another group kept watch over two large pots where the chicken was being cooked.

King also had his horse, Lance, decked out in Civil War attire with a genuine Civil War saddle and bridle.

Students milled around tasting what they’d cooked while others chopped wood to keep the fires going.

Lt. Col. Malcholm Arnold, 12th Tennessee Calvary/Artillery commander, said he enjoys teaching the younger generation about the Civil War.

“I think everybody started researching their ancestry and a lot of people found out how their ancestors were involved in the Civil War,” he said. “And it’s fun or we wouldn’t be out here doing it,” Arnold said. “It started off trying to honor your ancestors and see what they went through during that time period.”

“We have the students do pretty much all the work themselves as much as possible. We’re here to help instruct and guide but we like to have them have the experience of what the soldiers went through.