Ghosts of the Civil War at Fort Walla Walla Museum

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This weekend, Walla Wallans are preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July, gathering with family and friends to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

But the United States hasn't always been as compatible as the name implies.

The secession of 11 Southern states, which established the Confederacy, led to the deadliest conflicts in the nation's history.

The Civil War began 150 years ago and last month, Fort Walla Walla Museum held events marking the anniversary.

During Fort Walla Walla Days on June 11 and 12, three skirmishes between Union and Confederate soldiers were re-enacted.

Then June 21, a Civil War "Boot Camp" was held for kids ages 9-11.

Those attending learned about the life of a Union soldier by participating in a scavenger hunt/obstacle course, canteen decoration, flag-making and other hands-on activities.

Forty-four children attended the camp, according to the museum's communications manager, Paul Franzmann.

"The kids had a great time," he said.

Civil War facts

Hostilities began April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

Confederate resistance ended after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia on April 9, 1865.

The warfare, mostly within the Southern states, resulted in the deaths of 620,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilian casualties.

Victory for the North meant the end of the Confederacy and of slavery in the United States, and strengthened the role of the federal government.

Source: Wikipedia

Fort Walla Walla Museum will be holding a second day camp this summer.

Pioneer Kids Camp, scheduled for July 19, will give children ages 9-11 a hands-on opportunity to learn about blacksmithing chores, gold panning, old-time musical instruments and to participate in other activities.

A fee of $30 per child will be assessed, with a discount to museum members and some financial aid available. Each participant will receive official camp gear, craft items they make and a pizza lunch.

The museum's day camp director is Marcie Anderson.

Registration forms are available at the museum store on Myra Road in Fort Walla Walla Park or online at www.fortwallawallamuseum.org/kids_camp.htm.

More information also is available by calling (509) 525-7703.

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