School Day

All schools are invited to attend the Battle for Decatur School Day on the 30th of August 2019. Living historians will walk each student through the daily lives of soldiers during the War of 1861-1865. They will learn the importance of the three combat arms, supplying the army, and even identifying your own troops. School Day is split into two separate times, starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 12:00 p.m., and another at 12:00 p.m. ending at 2:30 p.m. If your school is interested in attending, please contact Matthew Joe Mallory at or at 256-617-1543.

School Day Stations

Subject to change.
Muster In, by Capt. Matthew Joe Mallory

No troops can be sent off to do their duty without first being inspected and mustered into service. All students will be gathered together and separated into individual companies (preferred method is one company = one class). Officers will be appointed (teachers or chaperones), and the Inspector General will have everyone recite their Oath of Enlistment.

Supplying the Troops

Troops cannot march off to battle with nothing to wear, or food to eat. It is the job of the Quartermaster to ensure that they are well supplied, but sometimes the troops may need a package from home, or a trip to a Sutler.

Infantry Drill, by 1st Sgt. Alex Wells.

The bulk of both armies was the infantry. They marched on foot, and fought on foot. Each company will be quickly drilled in infantry tactics, such as footing, marching, and the charge.

Flags of War, by Cpl. Larry Thomson.

Flags are an important part of the army. Without them the armies wouldn’t be able to distinguish between friends or foe. Even the General wouldn’t be able to identify his own army were it not for their distinctive flags. The boldest and bravest of soldiers would be given the honor of carrying their unit’s flag into battle.

Cavalry, by Col. Sean Paul.

Napoleon Bonaparte once stated that, “without cavalry, battles are without result.” Daring soldiers mounted on magnificent beasts are most useful in battle. From scouting missions, to skirmishing with the enemy as the infantry moves in place, and even covering the army’s retreat if necessary. Cavalry played one of the most important roles in the war.

Garrison vs. Campaign

When a soldier is in camp, he can have all types of luxuries. He can have furniture to sit on, nice tents, even wooden floors. While on campaign he can only have what he can carry on his back. Sometimes a camp can be rows and rows of tents, and other times it can simply be a comfortable spot on the ground.

Artillery, by Huggin's Battery

Ultima ratio regum, or “the final argument of kings”, is the inscription on French cannons on the order of King Louis XIV. Some of these cannons were gifted to the United States shortly after the Revolution. They are the loudest, and most destructive force on the battlefield. Their importance can turn the tide of any battle.

Chaplains, by Rev. Myron Mooney.

Chaplains, and Christian Associations, were very important during the war, and not only in terms of religious beliefs. They were social gatherings, information hubs, and a refrain from the harsh duties that soldiers went through on a daily basis.

History of the Battle of Decatur

After the fall of Atlanta, John Bell Hood wanted to try to convince William T. Sherman to chase him into Tennessee, and abandon his plans to burn through Georgia. To do this, Hood and his army would have to cross the Tennessee River. Decatur, Alabama seemed like a good spot, at first. Students will hear the story of the battle for Decatur, and learn about the part of American history that happened in their own back yards.