History came alive today for some students in Longview, in the form of a re-enactment of life during the Civil War. From camp life, to care and maintenance of their transportation, members of Terry's Texas Rangers re-enactment group taught kids at Pine Tree Junior High things you don't read in books.
"I knew it was hard, but not that hard," said Pine Tree 5th grader Gloria Gonzalez.
"It really brings it more to life. So we really see they did sleep on the ground, they did have this much of food," said Pine Tree senior Rachael Leonard.
Authentic weapons and antique field equipment gave children an idea of how soldiers on both sides lived.
"They didn't have warmth or their families there to comfort them. They had a hard life, but they sacrificed it" said Leonard.
Most soldiers on both sides lived in the clothes they were issued. They had very little food, they often had to travel hundreds of miles and then go straight into battle. But they remained committed, just like today's soldiers.
Ranger member Jim Perry has researched the Civil War for years and said soldiers lived a Spartan existence.
"We go home every day to a nice warm house. The best they could hope for was to find shelter in the woods," said Perry.
"We can sit in a classroom and read books all day long. This is the experience that they're going to remember," said Pine Tree teacher Brook Fergon.
Terry's Texas Rangers were a real confederate cavalry unit, made up of 1,100 riders from Tennessee and Texas. The re-enactment group is out of Tyler, and performs about once a month.