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updated: 5/15/2014 7:08 PM

Actors, cannons help Vernon Hills students learn about Civil War

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  • Video: Students learn about Civil War

  • A Woodruff cannon is fired for Hawthorn Middle School North students in Vernon Hills as part of a Civil War Day event Thursday.

       A Woodruff cannon is fired for Hawthorn Middle School North students in Vernon Hills as part of a Civil War Day event Thursday.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Hawthorn Middle School North seventh grade student Phillip Gokham, right, is dressed in an infantry uniform with the help of Civil War re-enactor Ron Hillier of St. Charles during the school's Civil War Day event Thursday in Vernon Hills.

       Hawthorn Middle School North seventh grade student Phillip Gokham, right, is dressed in an infantry uniform with the help of Civil War re-enactor Ron Hillier of St. Charles during the school's Civil War Day event Thursday in Vernon Hills.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

There's no doubt about it -- Hawthorn Middle School North students had a booming good time Thursday.

One highlight of the Vernon Hills school's Civil War Day was the firing of two Civil War-era cannons. Students learned about the uses of the cannons on the battlefield and saw firsthand the power of the weapon.

Marshall Garlach of Knox, Ind., who represents the 4th Indiana Light Artillery, fired a Woodruff cannon that was made in Springfield, Ill.

Garlach said the gun was used mainly in Iowa and Missouri during the war and can be fired three times in a minute. Teaching the students about the war is also important to Garlach.

"We're here to educate the kids on the Civil War because it was very devastating to the United States. Everybody that was killed during the war was an American citizen," Garlach said.

Inside the school, students participated in weapons demonstrations, heard presentations by General Lee, General Grant, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln impersonators and played games.

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