A Glimpse of History Glynn Students Hear of Civil War Life

Article excerpt

BRUNSWICK -- Confederate and Union soldiers joined forces yesterday to give Glynn Middle School eighth-grade students a glimpse of daily life during the Civil War.

Jason Wetzel traded his business suit as state Department of Education character education director for the gray uniform of a corporal in the Confederate Army.

Patrick Shell, chief ranger at Fort Frederica National Monument, wore the blue uniform of a sentry in the Union Army. His son, Patrick Shell Jr., an eighth-grader at the school, portrayed American abolitionist Federick Douglass.

Marvin McGahee, whose son Daniel is also an eighth-grader at the school, showed the youngsters part of his collection of Civil War artifacts.

They were participants in a special program celebrating Georgia History Day, which is tomorrow.

It showcased lessons the students have learned through their character education and social studies classes, said Myrna Scott, a social studies teacher who organized the program.

"The students also have created projects that describe the specific aspects of the war and the effect the people's actions had on our history," Scott said.

As part of their studies, the youngsters profiled the character traits of Civil War military and civilian leaders as well as regular citizens in both the North and South, said Harriet Langford, a school counselor who helped organize the program.

Wetzel and Shell are longtime Civil War re-enactors who have researched diaries, letters and other documents of that period.

Wetzel described the life of a typical Confederate soldier -- outlining the daily hardships including little or rotten food, rampant disease and rags for uniforms. …