By Tyesha Boudreaux
Fifth Grade Teacher
Women in big fancy dresses, a pig roasting over an open fire and swordsmen on horses, were scenes that could have been taken out of a movie based in the 1800s. Instead, these were some of the things that Varnett Public School fifth graders witnessed when they traveled to the historic Liendo Plantation in Hempstead on November 19, 2010.
Each year, students across the state visit the Liendo Plantation for an educational living history day, as well as a reenactment of the Civil War.
The event is hosted by the Texas Calvary as a way to educate visitors about one of the most "critical and fascinating" events in our nation's history, according to the event's pamphlet.
Students were able to travel back in history as they watched various quilting, weaving and tool-making demonstrations.
Carlene Brantley, Varnett Southwest Campus fifth grader, said her favorite demonstration was the roasting of a seven-month, 200 pound pig.
"I learned that it took 13 hours to roast the pig and that they started roasting it at 3:30 a.m., and it won't be finished until about 5 p.m.," Carlene said.
People were dressed as soldiers representing both the Confederate Army and the Union Army.
One man, who was playing the character of a Union Calvary soldier, said calvary soldiers rode horses into battle and also fought on horses. He said they wore long boots to protect themselves from swords.
Yolonda Williams, Varnett Southwest Campus fifth grade teacher, said the trip was a wonderful educational experience for students.
"The battle reenactment gave the students first-hand knowledge of how wars were fought in the 1800s," Williams said. "It gave them a chance to ask the men dressed as Confederate and Union soldiers about the history of the Civil War Era."