In the midst of their American History studies about the World Wars, Barnesville eighth graders visited Carlisle Barracks, the nation’s second-oldest active military base and home of the Army War College. The Barracks is also home to The Army Heritage Trail, an outdoor museum where students took a literal walk through U.S. military history.
Students visited The Allied Expeditionary Force Trenches exhibit representing trenches American Soldiers encountered during their time in Europe during World War I. They also saw tanks like the M-18 Tank Destroyer, nicknamed the "Hellcat" by the Soldiers who crewed them during World War II. Interactive exhibits provided up-close and tactile experiences for students to learn about life as a soldier and the equipment used in different wars.
The Barracks’ history started before the nation’s founding. Initially established as a British military post during the French and Indian War, Carlisle became an arsenal where cannons and ammunition were manufactured for the Revolutionary War. Later the home of the Calvary School, it served both the Union and Confederate Armies in the Civil War. The Confederates captured and burned much of the base before turning south to Gettysburg. After the Civil War, the Barracks became the Indian Industrial School, educating more than 10,000 Native Americans from more than 70 tribes. The School was closed during World War I, when the Army utilized the installation as a war hospital and rehabilitation center for soldiers serving in France. After the War, the base served as a medical school and training facility through and after World War II, and it eventually evolved into the Army War College in 1951.
At the end of the day, Middle School Socials Studies Teacher Mike Nelson surprised the class with a trip to a nearby arcade to celebrate students having completed their research papers. As a Barnesville graduation requirement, each eighth grade student writes a 5-8 page research paper on a subject of their choosing. Students must develop a thesis supported by facts and corresponding citations. Each year at graduation, the School’s Board of Trustees gives an award for outstanding writing of the research paper.