Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Battle of Kings Mountain

Thursday was library class with Mr. Jack.  Little Man was so excited that we were going to see Mr. Jack.  Normally, Mr. Jack does some kind of science class, but today we were in for a treat.  There was a visitor in the classroom.

The visitor was park ranger, Ashley Barrows, from Cowpens  National Battlefield.  Mr. Barrows gave a wonderful lecture in form of story telling to the children.  He explained the events leading to the Battle of Kings Mountain.  The story of the Overmountain Men from Tennessee and their journey to Kings Mountain.  A very important turning point in the war.  The children listened and answered questions throughout the short presentation.  (A wonderful review on last year's history lessons.)

Mr. Jack brought in a map to show everyone the route the Overmountain Men took to travel from Tennessee to South Carolina.  We discussed how many of the roads or trails used in their travel were old Indian paths and how today those same paths and roads are modern day roads we drive upon. (On our way home from the library, I drove the children home on several of the roads used by the Overmountain Men.  They thought it was so cool!)

After the presentation, we all 'signed up' to join the militia.  No modern writing utensils were used!  Each person was provided a quill to sign their name.  A quill was not the easiest item to write with!  Several attempts were made by many to sign without having huge blobs of ink puddled on the paper.  It was amazing that anyone wrote letters or documents back then.  Much practice and patience was required.

Once the militia papers were signed, we went outdoors to begin training.  All were given dummy guns.  Mr. Barrows told us that even during the war dummy guns were used to train the army.  Not enough muskets were available for training during basic drills.

We learned how to stand ready, shoulder arms, present arms, fix bayonets, and march.  The children enjoyed the drill.

Back inside the classroom, we made posters to help recruit more able bodied men into militia.  The children learned that propaganda was used and that all promises on posters were not always kept.

Egee's poster

Little Man's poster (I wrote and drew for him.  He told me what to do!)

The class passed by quickly and all had fun.  Hands on history presented by people that truly enjoy their job makes it more interesting for those they teach.  Mr. Barrows definitely shows his enthusiasm and the children are ready to go back to Cowpens and onward to Kings Mountain for more fun!