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Kids learn about Civil War at Callaway County Library

Kids learn about Civil War at Callaway County Library

March 19th, 2017 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

Randy Pauly looms ominously with his reproduction Civil War doctor tools. According to Pauly, a good battlefield surgeon could amputate a limb in three minutes or less.

Photo by Helen Wilbers /Fulton Sun.

History is never far away in Callaway County.

On Saturday, kids visiting the Callaway County Public Library had an opportunity to live through the county's history.

"In this day and age, we're deficient in history," said Kevin Wenzel, a member of the Elijah Gates camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

That group and the local Daughters of the Confederacy chapter brought Civil War-era handicrafts, costumes and weapons.

"We do a lot of these and we'd like to do more," Wenzel said.

Kids make a great audience, according to Randy Pauly. He was in character as a battlefield doctor, with a terrifying array of knives, saws and other brutal-looking instruments.

"When I pull out a knife and tell them I could saw their arm off in three minutes, they all back up," Pauly said.

These history enthusiasts are the descendants of veterans themselves.

"Most of us are S.O.B.'s," Wenzel said. "That's sons of both sides."

In other words, both Confederate and Union blood runs in their veins. They help kids at these types of events connect to their own heritage.

"Once you get bitten by the genealogy bug, you never get rid of it," said Betty McAtee, who founded the Reuben H. Bullard chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy and named it after her great-grandfather.

"He was in the majority of the war," McAtee said. "He was injured, captured and got away."

The Sons and Daughters also work to find Civil War-related sites in the area. They once discovered the burial place of those who fell during the Battle of Moore's Mill and erected a monument near Calwood.

Those curious about the Sons of Confederate Veterans can join one of their monthly meetings, which take place in Fulton at the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society (513 Court St.) at 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month.