Free brings history up close and personal
By Ginger Grantham

Making history come alive for students is the key to getting them interested in learning. That was Leland and Rosemary Free’s mission recently when they visited Moulton Elementary School.

Leland Free is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and participates in Civil War battle re-enactments across the state. He is usually at events at the Gen. Joe Wheeler home with a Civil War cannon.

Free and his wife came to the school in period dress and talked to students in the library.

Free discussed the types of clothing worn by both the Union and Confederate troops. He also had clothing with him to show the students along with examples of canteens, rifles and cannon balls.

He also had a number of flags used by the Confederacy during the war. He explained the purpose for each flag and why the flags were changed.

One fact that got the students’ interest was Free’s discussion about shoes.

"Back then shoes were not made in left or right. All the shoes were the same. Soldiers would get the shoes wet so the leather would mold to the feet and take shape," he said. "The shoes were called brogans."

The students who went to Moulton Elementary School may not remember all the dates of the Civil War, but they will remember what the soldiers wore thanks to Leland and Rosemary Free.

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