Students get a very loud history lesson

Students get a very loud history lesson
The West Jersey Artillery Company, made up of Revolutionary War enthusiasts, fire off Thundering Barbara, a reproduction of a cannon from the War for Independence, for students of St. Michael the Archangel School, Clayton, on March 24. Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

The West Jersey Artillery Company, made up of Revolutionary War enthusiasts, fire off Thundering Barbara, a reproduction of a cannon from the War for Independence, for students of St. Michael the Archangel School, Clayton, on March 24.
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

CLAYTON — On the morning of March 24, here on the school field, students in grades 5-8 at St. Michael the Archangel Regional School were introduced to Barbara — Thundering Barbara, that is, a reproduced cannon from the Revolutionary War — and their experience was nothing short of earth-shattering.

Thundering Barbara was brought to the school by the West Jersey Artillery Company. Today, the company is made up of Revolutionary War enthusiasts. From 1776-81 during the American War of Independence, however, the West Jersey Artillery Company was a state artillery regiment that fought against the British at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. The cannon gets its name from the patron saint of artillerymen, St. Barbara.

Dressed head to toe in Revolution artillerymen garb, the company gave information and took questions on uniforms, ammunitions and weapons. Of course, they demonstrated the cannon’s capabilities, using tin foil in place of an actual cannonball.

Keith Wittstock, a social studies teacher, is currently teaching his seventh graders about the American Revolution, and was responsible for bringing the company to the school.

“I always think that any time the students can take part in history, and hear it, and feel it, they learn a lot more, and those lessons stay with them a lot longer,” he said.

Categories: Catholic School News

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