In addition to the reenactors, there were two blacksmiths demonstrating their craft during the Civil War Days Living History Encampment. Here I was with Jacob Kuhnen, watching how he worked a piece of metal. Blacksmiths were very important during the Civil War, both for soldiers and on the homefront. They would make items out of iron, like things for cooking, hinges, nails, tools— just about anything made of metal that a person would need in 1860! They also made horseshoes for horses, and often the blacksmith would be the person who would fit a horse with new shoes.
Blacksmiths work over hot coals, to heat up the metal they are working with and make it soft. Then they use hammers and files to shape it they way the want. It is hard, hot work!