September 23, 1999

Champlain Valley Historical Reenactors Drill for Middlebury College President's History Class -- Backyard at President's House Becomes Civil War Campground

Champlain Valley Historical Reenactors "drilled" in the backyard of the home of Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr. during the evening on on Monday, September 27. The demonstration was presented for "The Civil War and American Historical Memory," a history class taught at the College by McCardell.

McCardell's class is a reading seminar of 20 juniors and seniors that focuses on how historians and everyday Americans choose to remember and re-use the Civil War. The class reads works such as Lincoln's Address at Gettysburg and C. Vann Woodward's "The Burden of Southern History." The students also watch movies such as "Birth of a Nation" and "Glory," and discuss these topics once a week.

The Reenactors are based in the nearby town of Salisbury, but their membership stretches from all cross the College's immediate local community and beyond, presenting encampments or marching in parades from Orwell, Vt., to Gettysburg, Penn. Led by president Michael Blakeslee, the Reenactors value the experience of educating young and old Americans as much as firing blank rounds and fixing bayonets.