LOJHS observes re-enactment

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Daylee Shaw helps prepare a cannon for firing.Three million Americans fought in the Civil War and more than 600,000 of them died — their sacrifice and the momentous four-year war that freed African-American slaves were honored this week in Lake Oswego.

Civil War re-enactors visited Lake Oswego Junior High School on Monday, firing cannons filled with gunpowder but not cannonballs.

About 300 eighth graders met with re-enactors from the Second U.S. Artillery nonprofit group, including Jack Bentley, who stationed a horse at the cavalry station and showed off Civil War-era medical supplies and artifacts. Guests also wore period garb.

“That was a humdinger,” Bentley said. “The students were very, very receptive, and we had a very good time.”

The school has been hosting the Second U.S. Artillery for at least five years, he said.

The group’s arrival coincides with the Civil War portion of eighth graders’ studies, said Aletia Cochran, Lake Oswego Junior High language arts and social studies teacher.

“The tidbits of knowledge students learned today will stay rooted in their brains due to the interactive nature of the experience,” Cochran said.

Waged from 1861 to 1865, the war killed 2 percent of the population and was fought in 10,000 locations, according to the Oregon Public Broadcasting website. About 185,000 black Americans fought for liberty.

The school, as many area schools the Second U.S. Artillery visits, is making sure that history stays alive.

“It is a tradition LOJ hopes to continue far into the future,” Cochran said.