The balloon civil war of Austin, Minn.

While we’re aware that people will read more into this than is necessary (thanks, internet!), we will pass this along anyway in the acknowledgment that the last days of school, on perfect June days, when the grades are already in, it’s great to be a kid in Austin, Minn.

Today was the 10th annual Balloon Civil War reenactment at Ellis. #AustinIsEnrichment

Posted by Austin Public Schools on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

It’s a tradition in its tenth year at the Ellis Middle School.

Social studies teacher Tom Compton uses the event to teach the kids why the tactics used in the Civil War resulted in so many deaths.

Tomorrow is the last day of school in Austin.

  • MrE85

    I get the point of the exercise, but ugh, that flag. You know the one I mean.

  • Jeff

    I was channel surfing last night and there was a story on Vice News about experienced Oklahoma teachers reluctantly quitting their jobs since they haven’t had a raise in 10 years, many working multiple jobs, and were ignored by the legislature after a walkout. I was thinking I’m glad I don’t live there.

  • Mike Worcester

    At least they are not digging a bunch of trenches in the field… (yes, sarcasm).

    I vaguely recall from my college civil war classes that one of the issues in combat tactics was that all the generals were trained at West Point by the same instructors, so when they met on the field on opposing sides, it was like fighting your mirror image.

    https://www.amazon.com/Class-1846-Appomatox-Stonewall-McClellan/dp/034543403X

    • KTFoley

      It’s a tome, but Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant discusses the commander’s perspective of each of the generals he faced in battle, based on what he knew of them from West Point and from fighting alongside them in previous conflicts.

      I’m only 1/4 way through — and in despair of getting it back to the library on time — but knowing his opponent personally influenced some of Grant’s battle tactics.

      [Yes, that’s the same Ron Chernow whose biography of Alexander Hamilton was turned into a musical.]

      This could also illustrate why the Continental Army adopted guerrilla tactics to succeed in the Revolutionary War against European armies trained to fight in formation.

      • >> in despair of getting it back to the library on time <<

        Can you renew online?

      • Jerry

        One of the great myths of the revolutionary war is that it was the on by minutemen fighting behind trees when it was actually won by trained soldiers fighting in formation and Frenchmen using advanced siege tactics and the somehow achieving local naval supremacy.

        • KTFoley

          Good to know, thanks!

          • Jerry

            One of the great ironies of French military history is that they lost to the Vietnamese at Dien Bien Phu in very nearly the same way they helped the Americans defeat the British at Yorktown.

      • Jack

        Just finish it and pay the overdue fines. (I consider that funding the library….. 😉 )

        I recently did just that with “The Code Girls”. Excellent read about code breaking during WWII.

  • 212944

    I have to admit, I clicked in hopes of an aerial battle matching two hot air balloons.

  • Gary F

    Do they cover the invention of Richard Gattling?

    • It wasn’t in widespread use during the ACW,

      The “War to end all wars” was where the “machine gun” was able to “shine.”

    • Jerry

      Claude-Étienne Miníe, who perfected the muzzle loading rifle, is the inventor who can be most credited with the horrible casualties of the Civil War. A relatively quick firing, long range accurate rifle is devastating when used agains tactics developed for use against short ranged massed musket fire.

  • Al

    Huh. I remember not really understanding why the Civil War was so bad until I realized how close each line was to each other. The killjoy in me says this trivializes things just a little, but I am also not a teacher, and don’t need to try to make this stuff stick.