Middle School eighth graders were treated to a true Civil War story
about a survivor of the war, Corporal James Anderson.
Anderson was portrayed by professional Civil War re-enactor Christopher
Goetz. In full Union Army dress and a wealth of Civil War artifacts,
Goetz told the story of Anderson who lived his whole civilian life in
the Manitowoc area. Using information from authentic diaries and
journals, Goetz gave all in attendance the sensation that the man he
was role-playing was actually present.
four performances covering a two-day period. Each of the presentations
captivated the interested attention of the students. The students saw
and handled authentic equipment and weapons of a foot soldier during
this era. They heard the misconceptions of a young boy who envisioned
going to war as something exciting and adventurous.
Anderson's agonizing voice was heard via the research of Goetz when he
realized this experience became the most horrific event in American
history. After escaping the capture by Confederate soldiers twice and
many bloody battles, Corporal Anderson's return to a successful
civilian life was told.
The show culminated with
hands-on and open discussion period. During this session, many students
asked about the abundant memorabilia on display. Students also engaged
in games played by soldiers while waiting for their next battle
assignment. They also had the opportunity to ‘enjoy' some of the food
the soldiers survived on and to use some of the hygienic tools the
soldiers used to keep themselves groomed. When all was said and done,
the students walked away with a new appreciation and interest for the
high cost of freedom.