Cadets relive Civil War

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PostSubject: Cadets relive Civil War   11/26/2009, 10:27 am

Cadets relive Civil War -

ST. GEORGE - Junior ROTC cadets took a trip back in time this weekend as part of their training on military techniques and history.

Cadets attempted to live in the manner of Civil War soldiers by sleeping in the same type of tents as their counterparts, eating the same type of foods and experiencing other aspects of the war's environment in the camp raised behind Dixie High School.

"We do this type of thing every year," said Cadet Major Brandon Hustead, who is the student group commander for the JROTC.

"Last year they had a small cannon here - it still weighed a ton," Hustead said.

As part of the event, the JROTC teamed with members of the Nevada Civil War History Association to put on a series of classes Friday that discussed the Civil War. After spending the night in a camp in which Union and Confederate soldiers were camped together, each in their own row, the students participated in weapons drills, camp cleanup and a period baseball game Saturday. Each took a half hour turn on guard duty during the night.

"We're here to repel Sibley's invasion," said Don Hotchkiss, one of the Civil War re-enactors from Nevada invited to observe and train the cadets. "We're here to conscript these (cadets). The territorial governor sent us down here."

Brigadier General Henry Sibley was a union officer who joined the Confederacy, Hotchkiss said, and traveled up into the Southwest from Texas in 1862 in search of gold and silver to support the Confederate treasury and open the way to San Francisco so the Confederacy could gain another ocean port.

"The idea Sibley had was the Mormons had been abused by the federal government, so he was going to recruit the Mormons in exchange for giving them their own Confederate state - the state of Deseret," Hotchkiss said.

Although the Confederacy raised its flag in Tucson, Ariz., and was successful at the Battle of Glorieta Pass in northern New Mexico, Hotchkiss's plan ultimately failed when his supply train was destroyed and he was driven back to Texas into a starvation camp.

"(This history event) is the kind of thing that keeps our program growing," said retired Air Force Col. Glenn Whicker, the senior aerospace instructor at Dixie High School and the cadets' leader.

A camp nurse, one of five parent chaperons participating in the event, threaded a needle by the light of a kerosene lamp nearby to repair a cadet's uniform.

Later in the evening, the cadets gathered around a campfire - Union and Confederate together - to sing songs from the war era.

"So of course, they start by singing a Confederate song," Hotchkiss said ironically.

"All the fighting stopped at night," said Lawrence Patchen, another of the Nevadans at the event.

"They would meet to exchange coffee, candy and other goods with soldiers from the other side," he said. "A lot of times the other person would be someone they'd know."
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