PLAQUEMINE – Canons from the Civil War era could be heard firing at the Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site on Friday morning.
The display of artillery was part of a program used to teach area students about Iberville Parish's part in the war.
"It is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War," Park Manager Stan Richardson said. "Nobody realizes how big of a role Plaquemine played in the Civil War. We brought these kids here to educate them about the war and also what happened here locally."
The idea for the program came from volunteer Michael Eby and its organization began last summer.
"It gets the kids interested in local history," Richardson said.
Over 300 students from area schools participated in the eight stations that focused on artillery, military uniforms, weapons, medical treatment, war on the home front and Iberville Parish's role in it.
"They had some good questions," Eby said. "Nobody knows too much about it. That is why I got into this. They had probably 30 or 40 events in Iberville Parish and there were five regiments in the Civil War that had a company with people from here."
One of Eby's uncles, Martin Luther Eby, even perished in the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863.
Eby said more Confederate soldiers died in prison camps then Union soldiers perished in the entire war. He also said little is known of Indian and Black Confederates in the war.
"The winners get to write the history of the war," Eby told the students.
One of the biggest skirmishes in the area occurred June 18, 1863 when 300 Confederates attacked the guard at Plaquemine killing 68 Union soldiers.
"They actually had a Union Fort here in Plaquemine," Richardson said. "I didn't realize how much history Plaquemine and Iberville Parish was linked to Civil War."
Richardson also said The Middleton House was damaged during the Civil War by a canon ball fired by Federal troops from the Mississippi River.
There even was a Confederate training camp near Plaquemine called Camp Slaughter, according to Chip Landry.
"Actually it was right across the bayou here on Jacob Slaughter's Plantation," Landry said. "They would bring the recruits in for the Army so people in this area really didn't have to go all the way to Camp Moore in Tangipahoa Parish."
Landry said both armies imported a lot of weapons.
"The Confederacy bought anything they could find," Landry said. "Austria had a lot of weapons that their armories weren't issuing out anymore and they imported a lot of obsolete weapons from there."
Eby said the presentation will remain displayed at the site for the next two weeks to view.