The war was introduced to local students in a bold way. On Friday, Valley school kids got to see what life was like for Americans during the 19th century.
"I think it's great because we get to learn about the history about the Civil War," Laton Elementary 5th grader Jorge Andrade said.
"Here they get to see the guns, they get to see the battle, they get to ask questions, they get to talk to soldiers. These people that are re enactors are very knowledgeable," teacher Janet Kelly said.
Dozens of outdoor classrooms and artisans provided students with a hands-on education. Blacksmiths explained how people in the Civil War made horseshoes and tools.
"Learning history is so much better when you're doing it interactively rather than just trying to read it in a book," Fresno Historical Society Director of Public Relations Cindy Wathen said. "Learning history is so much better when you're doing it interactively rather than just trying to read it in a book."
They also learned how to make everyday products like brooms, and a piece of history came alive with historical figures like Abraham Lincoln.
History enthusiasts say this event helps the Valley keep connected with the past. Students say they'll now leave with a whole new understanding of the Civil War period. The historic event takes place this weekend at Kearney Park.