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Step Back in Time and Into the Shoes of an American Civil War Enlistee

As fall approaches, many Badger fans are heading out to Camp Randall to support their football team. However, about 150 years ago, the land didn’t house a football stadium. 

It was a Confederate prisoner of war camp during the American Civil War.

Old World Wisconsin is living the Civil War through its month-long event, Civil War Encounters. This weekend, a particularly notable event is happening on site.

Gone for a Soldier” is a weekend-long event that will be filled with soldier reenactments, family activities, and the chance for visitors to experience what it was like to enlist for the Civil War. Through these experiences, visitors will learn about basic drills and to learn how the actual soldiers learned how to fight.

"And so we are seeing them transition from raw recruits as civilians who have never have shouldered a musket in anger in their lives and then transitioning into some of the best trained and most efficient fighting troops in the world at the time," says Ryan Schwartz.

Schwartz is the event coordinator for “Gone for a Soldier.” He says that the events are aiming to capture the sights and sound of the Civil War. Old World Wisconsin has always aimed to bring people from the present into the past and this event is going to capture the essence of that mission. 

This interview aired on August 23, 2014.