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      Civil War history lives

      History came to life as a popular Civil War reenactment group from downstate, Battery D, infiltrated Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor Sunday. More than 25 costumed interpreters depicted life as it was in the barracks.

      "We're trying to give a glimpse of what it would have been like if you walked in here in 1866 and could visit with the troops in that garrison," said Battery D leader, Jim Newkirk.

      Authentic weaponry, drills, medicine, and chores were all demonstrated at the historic site over the past three days, providing an interactive lesson.

      "It seems like kids learn a lot more history because they're more interested when they can see it, feel it, and actually walk around in it," said tourist Amie Hall of Gladstone.

      "You get to learn more because you get to talk to people," said tourist Brandon Ryker of Laurium.

      Many may wonder, why were Civil War barracks put all the way up in the U.P.?

      "When the Civil War ended, they had a lot of extra troops still in the army that didn't want to get out," Newkirk said. "So some of these backwoods posts were opened again for a second time. The first was to keep the Native Americans away from the miners and miners away from Native Americans; the second time was to have a place to put some bodies."

      Although Battery D took their show elsewhere after Sunday, Fort Wilkins is open to the public as a museum every day until mid-October.

      If you missed Battery D this weekend, you can catch them August 14 and 15 at the Iron Ore History Museum in Negaunee.