Posted at: 06/15/2013 10:43 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

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History Comes to Life at Wasioja Civil War Days

The community of Wasioja has strong ties with the Civil War. Still, today the historic site of a Civil War Recruiting Station sits in town, where hundreds of men went to serve. This weekend, the community brought history back to life during Civil War Days.

"When I first saw it, it brought tears to my eyes," said Paul Mathison.

Cannons and gun fire could be heard for miles during the reenactment of The Battle of Mill Springs. One battle among many in the Civil War, a time where our nation was split in two.

"It's brother fighting brother, they both spoke the same language and yet there was a certain amount of hatred there and it's sad," said Mathison.

It's one thing to read about history, but to witness what happened in battle tends to make a stronger connection. Especially for those out on the battle field Saturday.

"You can get caught, kind of caught up in the moment and maybe have some sense for what they went through when they were in the battle," said Craig Lenz, Civil War reenactor from Pine Island.

Craig Lenz and his family of eight are all involved in Civil War Days, and the weekend is not just all about the battles.

"We try to live out the history through the whole camp, not just the battle. All the cutlery, food, fires, tents is all intended to reenact history in its entirety," said Lenz.

Making history come to life for one weekend out of the year, to teach younger generations about the Civil War and preserve our nation's history.

"We do it to honor the 600,000 Americans who gave their lives, as president Lincoln called it, gave their last full measure of devotion so that the nation would live and continue to exist as one country," said Historian Michael Eckers.

"With a lot of noise and the smoke and the cannons, the muskets it's very effective," said Mathison.

The Battle of Gettysburg First Charge of Minnesota will be reenacted Sunday afternoon.