'Civil War Revisited' transforms Kearney Park into action-packed battlefield

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Kearney Park has once again been transformed into a Civil War battlefield complete with campsites.

From the heart-stopping cannon to close-up shootouts, 'Civil War Revisited' offers visitors a glimpse into our past.

Union and Confederate soldiers stay in character for the most part.

But the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, tailors his message to students.

"We're teaching the children, at least I am, 'Don't let this ever happen again.'," he said.

Davis explains to students how the war tore families apart.

"Wouldn't it be nice if the American Civil War was the last American war on the planet," he says.

Abraham Lincoln was a big hit with the kids.

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley served as Mrs. Lincoln's seamstress

"A lot of times people think I was the Lincoln slave, but I was not. I was an employee. I got paid for everything I did in there," she said.

Diverse characters help share the kinds of stories students don't read about in history books.

"We get the opportunity to bring out our lives, be able to give them living history and let them have so much fun they don't realize that they're actually learning," said Sojourner Truth Matte.

Close to 2,000 students went from station to station, taking their Civil War lessons out of the classroom and into Kearney Park.

"They're really learning what 1860s America was like, not just in relation to the Civil War but also how to can food, how they stored food."

And how they fought and died.

The Civil War Revisited continues through Sunday.
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