civil war gift for 10yr old
October 27, 2008 12:37 PM   Subscribe

What would be a good gift for a ten year old civil war nut?

Is there anything ebay-able for around $50 that would knock his socks off?
posted by zeoslap to Shopping (23 answers total)
Best answer: Gettysburg Playset

The Golden Book of the Civil War helped spawn a whole generation of Civil War scholars and buffs when it came out in the 1960's. I wore my copy out when I was his age.

Also, when I was his age, the "real stuff" was exciting: things like minie balls, belt buckles, and Confederate money may be in your price range.
posted by marxchivist at 12:51 PM on October 27, 2008

DVD of the Ted Turner Gettysburg movie?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:56 PM on October 27, 2008

Best answer: Giant detailed complicated maps he can hang in his bedroom. The more detailed the better. You need to satisfy the craving for more information. I had something like this in mind (which I found here) but it doesn't appear to be for sale. Something like this or this could work.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:58 PM on October 27, 2008

Yeah, artifacts would be the best. Uniform buttons, bits of artillery...that, along with a good illustrated book, would be awesome for a kid.
posted by peachfuzz at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2008

Response by poster: The map book is great, off to check out what a minie ball is...
posted by zeoslap at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2008

I guess you need to think about what type of kid is he. I was the bookish type and always loved maps. I used to read atlases for fun when I was young. The latter book I linked, Great Maps of the Civil War, looks so awesome that I'm tempted to buy it for myself. But other kids might prefer more tangible stuff.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:03 PM on October 27, 2008

A set of Ken Burns' Civil War series?

Or, expanding on marxchivist's suggestion, "unreal stuff" -- the things you get search ebay for 'civil war replica'.
posted by fings at 1:03 PM on October 27, 2008

Real stuff, no question. Fakes abound, of course, but for that kind of money, you can do well even on ebay.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:05 PM on October 27, 2008

Oops, minie ball definition here.
posted by marxchivist at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2008

Does he already have bullets? Thos come in expensive sets, but you can also find them on Ebay.
posted by wryly at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2008

If you want to purchase an actual Civil War "antique", check out The Horse Soldier. I spent hours upon hours in this store with my father every time we visited Gettysburg. Their website, unfortunately, is horrendous but I'm sure that you'll either find something that will interest said 10-year old, or at the least get an idea of something else to buy. Some of the prices may throw you off, but there are items on there for under $50. Maybe a piece of Civil War era currency, framed? There's a $10 CSA note on their for $45.
posted by XcentricOrbit at 1:10 PM on October 27, 2008

One word: Zouaves
posted by johngoren at 1:19 PM on October 27, 2008

Civil war related video games? My son was a civil war nerd at 10 (and still is at 14) and he wore out several Civil War related PC games.
posted by COD at 1:24 PM on October 27, 2008

I think there are treasure hunting groups that will organize expeditions at actual Civil War battlefields. For a 10-year old it would be freaking awesome to join one of these groups with a metal detector and dig up some relics (bullets, buttons, etc.) which he can clean and then keep.

I recall one of those treasure hunting shows on Discovery channel, History channel or Travel channel that showed a group doing exactly this.
posted by camworld at 1:30 PM on October 27, 2008

Real bullets, good lord yes.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:31 PM on October 27, 2008

The Lincoln Photobiography is a made-for-children-but-serious book I loved, and is cheap enough to throw in with something else.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 1:36 PM on October 27, 2008

I live within 3 miles of several Civil War battlefields. At least around here, treasure hunting on a battlefield is a one way ticket to jail. I assume it's perfectly fine if the activity is confined to private land and the landowner has authorized access.
posted by COD at 1:39 PM on October 27, 2008

Best answer: Sid Meier's Gettysburg is an outstanding game in the genre. It's been out a long time, is really inexpensive, and has almost endless replay value. I can't say enough good things about this game. To make it a bit more special, how about playing with or against the birthday boy (or girl!)? Sharing interest is one of the best ways to let people know you truly care about them. You can also help them understand and appreciate the gravity and sacrifice over the mere glorification of war that kids sometimes get stuck on, if that's an issue.

You'll have $40 left after buying that, and you could spend the rest on 1:600 civil war ship minis, for either collectibility/painting/shadowboxing or for playing games with. Lots of free civil war ship game rules are available via Junior General and Free Wargames Rules UK. You could also use it for gasoline and snacks to take said youngster to a reenactment, depending on your area.

Other than that, many folks above have great suggestions, depending on what you'd like to emphasize. Good luck, and hope they love the birthday!
posted by SaintCynr at 2:43 PM on October 27, 2008

My 12 year old is a total Civil War/Gettysburg reak as well. A year or so back we were carousing Target and found a CD game called Gettysburg where you can play either side etc. I think it was by a company (or perhaps that was the name of the series) called American Conquest.

He came down and told he had found a way to win the Battle of Little Round Top with out using the flank.

if the google-fu fails you, MeMail me and I will go upstairs with a shovel and see if I can find it.
posted by timsteil at 3:32 PM on October 27, 2008

Does he like building models? Go to your local hobby store, and get him a kit for the USS Monitor or the CSS Merrimac, or, for bonus points, both in the same scale so he can set up the battle. Don't forget model glue.
posted by agentofselection at 3:52 PM on October 27, 2008

When I was a kid my great-grandmother, who was one of those southern kooks who called it the "war of northern aggression" got me two things, a confederate uniform and a giant illustrated coffee table type civil war book. I loved that book. I pored over the pictures and maps until it wore out.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:26 PM on October 27, 2008

How about a book of Matthew Brady's photographs? That kept me busy at that age - when I wasn't out poking around battlefields in VA and SC looking for relics.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:44 PM on October 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions guys, definitely going to get some bullets, and the book of maps, and maybe the game..
posted by zeoslap at 6:19 AM on October 28, 2008

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