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The history, the people and the stories of the Upper Midwest



Details about Events and Classes can be found here.

Second Friday Lecture Series

This free series is sponsored by the Milwaukee Civil War Roundtable and Iron Brigade Association.

Friday, June 9, 2017; Noon
None But the Brave: The Civil War Medal of Honor

Presented by James Heinz. The Civil War saw many military innovations, including America’s first medal for bravery, the Medal of Honor (MOH).  During the Civil War 1,523 were awarded, about half of all those ever awarded. The circumstances under which the MOH was issued in the Civil War were completely different than today. This lecture will show how the MOH was created and awarded and the stories of many of those who won it, with a special emphasis on Wisconsin recipients, including Arthur and Douglas McArthur, and the Pond brothers. James Pond’s MOH is on display at the Museum. Come and see how Alonzo Cushing was the first posthumous MOH award, whose MOH is on display in the White House, how one man won the MOH by sitting down on the job, how an 11 year old boy received it, and the story of the only woman to receive the MOH.

Friday, July 14, 2017; Noon
The Battle of Monocacy

Presented by Charlie Banks. In July of 1864, a hodgepodge of Union troops was quickly assembled under the command of Major General Lew Wallace for a defense along the banks of the Monocacy River just outside of Frederick, Maryland. Facing that Union defense was a veteran Confederate force under Lt. General Jubal Early who left the Army of Northern Virginia a month before and moved down the Shenandoah Valley, crossed the Potomac River, and moved into Maryland. Mr. Banks’ talk will study the Battle of Monocacy and show how Lew Wallace’s makeshift force just might have saved Washington, DC.


Friday, August 11, 2017; Noon

Presented by Frank Crawford. Andersonville Prison, Camp Sumter as it was officially known, became one of the most infamous places in US history. Today, over 150 years later, it remains such. Much is known about Andersonville as a prison and now the site of the National Prisoner of War Museum, but there is still new research and new information which is being carried on by both professional historians, assigned specific tasks to study and answer the many questions asked of guides. Mr. Frank Crawford will talk about his own 40 years of research on Andersonville and the conclusions he has come to regarding the site.


sparkFridays, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, 2017; 2pm-3pm

Spark! is a monthly program for individuals in early to mid-stages of memory loss and their caregivers that engages participants in lively conversations, storytelling, interactive exhibit experiences, object handling, and other multi-sensory activities.




My Father’s WWI Experiences as a German Cavalry Officer and a Reconnaissance Pilot

WWI German PilotSaturday, May 20, 2017; 1pm

Presented by Paul Rempe. In April 1917 the U.S. entered World War I, a brutal and costly global conflict. By then, America had slowly recovered from its own Civil War slightly over fifty years earlier. Dr. Rempe’s talk concerns his father’s experiences as a cavalry officer and pilot in the German Army of World War I. His father’s story highlights the many technological changes that occurred between those two wars which led to millions of casualties in the first major war of the twentieth century.


Train Extravaganza Weekend

Saturday, May 20, 2017; 10am-5pm
Sunday, May 21, 2017; Noon-4pm

All makes and all models, and at the Kenosha Public Museum, too!

Sponsored by the Kenosha Garden Railroad Society.


Salute to Freedom

Saturday, June 10, 2017; 10am-4pm | Free and open to the public

Through this timeline of living history and military encampments spanning from the Revolutionary War to World War I, experience the different uniforms, equipment, and weapons that American soldiers used during these different time periods.

Also included in the program:
*Civil War and WWI military camps and demonstrations
*Participate in Civil War era baseball and cricket
*Blacksmith and civilian craft demonstrations
*Children’s games from the Civil War period
*See how tintype photographs were made
*Civil War artillery demonstrations with Cushing’s Battery
*Meet “General Ulysses S. Grant” and his staff
*See the amazing Museum of Wonder and Awe featuring many curiosities, oddities, artifacts, and relics from the six corners of the globe

Noon: Dance Performance by the West Side Victorian Dancers
1pm: Concert by the Regimental Volunteer Band
2pm: The Curator of the Museum of Wonder and Awe will provide a curator’s lecture where he will show his collection of identical snow flakes, The World’s Smartest Hat, and the Six Foot Tall Man Eating Chicken
3pm: Concert by the Kenosha Pops

As part of the Salute to Freedom, the Civil War Museum is asking for donations of money and household goods to support the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative. Items can be dropped off at the Museum the day of the event.

Here is information for Living History Groups interested in participating.

Gettysburg: The Living Memorial

Saturday, July 1, 2017; Noon

Presented by Steve Acker. The history of the Gettysburg battlefield is the story of more than 150 years of preservation and interpretation. The 1st Minnesota Infantry placed an urn on the Gettysburg battlefield in 1867, but that was not considered the first regimental monument. This program will share the history of the battlefield and the park as a historical event itself. Learn about John Bachelder, hear the stories behind the monuments, see the United States Army and Marine Corps tanks and machine guns on the battlefield, and much more.


A Traveling Museum of Music

Saturday, July 1, 2017; 2pm

Grammy-nominated Bob and Sheila Everhart, recording artists for the Smithsonian Institution, present a program devoted to the songs that were popular in rural America during all the wars America has been in. The songs performed are historically accurate with stories, homespun humor, and little known facts. From 1776 to the present, they cover all of them.


Museum Crawl

Friday, July 14, 2017; 6pm-10pm | For Adults 21 and over only | Register Here

During the 7th annual progressive party at the Museums, sample delicious food and beer from local establishments, view amazing exhibits, listen to awesome live music, and play crazy games. Ticket go fast. Advance registration is required.



Midwest Civil War Round Table Congress

Saturday, July 22, 2017; 9:30am-Noon

Open to all Civil War Round Table members or anyone interested in learning more about Civil War Round Tables

Civil War Round Table members and Civil War enthusiasts are encouraged to attend this important meeting where issues such as member retention, recruiting new members, creating a speakers bureau, and regional cooperation will be discussed.

Forgotten Field: The Cavalry Battlefield at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863

Saturday, July 22, 2017; 2pm

Presented by Marshall Krolick. On July 3, 1863, Confederate Cavalry Commander, J.E.B. Stuart, was ordered by Robert E. Lee to move around the Confederate left and attack the Union rear as the famed assault of Picket, Pettigrew, and Trimble advanced against the Federal center. In the field along the Hanover Road, three miles east of town, Stuart unexpectedly met the Union troopers of David Gregg’s division and George Custer’s brigade. The resulting clash involved some of the fiercest and most dramatic fighting of any cavalry battle of the Civil War.

Today, the area of the action, known as “East Cavalry Field”, is truly a forgotten field. As thousands of tourists visit the many sites of Gettysburg each year, few find their way to the peaceful acres which, on that fateful day, resounded with the blare of the trumpet and the clash of the saber. This is not as it should be for, without question, the Union success there played a key role, not only in the Federal success at Gettysburg, but in the continuing development and superiority of the Union troopers. Join Mr. Marshall Krolick as he details the events of that day and helps to promote what should not be a Forgotten Field.

Peacemaking 1919

Sunday, August 20, 2017; 1pm

Presented by Dr. Laura Gellott, Professor of History, Emeritus, UW-Parkside. This presentation will examine the peace treaties that marked the end of the First World War. Along with the Treaty of Versailles, four other treaties, collectively known as the Paris Peace Treaties, fundamentally redrew the map of Central and Eastern Europe and also created the territorial arrangements of the modern Middle East. Thus these treaties contained the seeds of future conflicts. s

The Great Lakes Civil War Forum
Tullahoma, Chickamauga, and Beyond

ChickamaugaSaturday, September 16, 2017 | Check-In 8:30am; Program begins at 9:30 am | $60 ($50 FOM) includes lunch | Register Here




Here is detailed information about speakers and programs

Turning the Tide: The Union Cavalry in the Tullahoma Campaign Presented by Mr. Greg Biggs. Prior to the cavalry engagement fought literally within the town of Shelbyville, Tennessee, on June 27th, 1863, as part of Union Gen. William S. Rosecrans brilliant Tullahoma Campaign, Confederate cavalry in the West had been dominating their Union counterparts at most every turn.  Dynamic and bold leaders like Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joe Wheeler and the “Kentucky Thunderbolt”, John Hunt Morgan, coupled with officers like Thomas Woodward and Adam Rankin Johnson, led raids throughout the Tennessee and Kentucky theaters of war, beating Union cavalry at almost every turn.  But all of that started to change just before and at Shelbyville, when Wheeler’s vaunted troopers were routed out of town by an aggressive Union cavalry brigade under Col. Robert Minty.  Indeed, the performance of the Union cavalry in the entire campaign outshone their Rebel counterparts and served as a wake-up call that the days of being dominated were over.  From Shelbyville forward, Union cavalry in the West would start to dominate the Confederates for the rest of the war.

Longstreet in the West Presented by Mr. David Powell. In September 1863, the Confederacy took the unprecedented step of sending an infantry corps from Virginia to reinforce Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, hoping to stave off disaster in north Georgia. That corps was led by James Longstreet. Only five of Longstreet’s brigades arrived in time to take part in the battle, and Longstreet himself did not reach the field until halfway through the contest. In later years, Longstreet’s impact – both at Chickamauga and subsequently – became hotly debated topics, especially since Longstreet became deeply embroiled in the Confederate Army’s demoralizing internal politics. This program explores the pros and cons of Longstreet’s tenure in the Western Theater.

General William Passmore Carlin and the Chickamauga Campaign Presented by Mr. Robert Girardi. Born in Carrollton, Illinois, in 1829, William Passmore Carlin graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1850. He began a long military career on the frontier before returning to Illinois to take command of the 38th Illinois at the start of the Civil War. He rose to Brigadier General by November of 1862, and commanded the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XIV Corps in the engagements at Tullahoma, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga and the summer 1864 Atlanta Campaign. Mr. Girardi’s program will study the Chickamauga Campaign through the eyes of one of the hardest fighting generals in the Army of the Cumberland, William Passmore Carlin.

Wounded Warriors Come Home: The Union Soldier In Peace Presented by Dr. Stephen Goldman, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Fellow, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (FAPM), Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association (DFAPA). Homecoming Northern veterans confronted issues as overwhelming as those entailed by military service. They were now battle-hardened, proud professionals who had slain their fellow countrymen in unprecedented numbers, witnessed sights and performed deeds they never could have imagined. While American veterans had returned from war before, their sheer numbers and high proportion with debilitating, permanent injuries were unprecedented, and there was widespread trepidation. As the soldiers and sailors of the Union rejoined a society undergoing revolutionary changes involving race, equality, and sectionalism, neither their families nor fellow citizens knew what to expect. Would these men show violent proclivities? Would they accept civilian authority? Would they have stable relationships? Would they be able to find work? What would the future hold for disabled Union veterans with no G.I. Bill of Rights or Department of Veterans Affairs, and only an embryonic pension system? Dr. Goldman will examine these critical (and timeless) questions surrounding returning veterans, and demonstrate the tremendous therapeutic impact of the warrior identity, then and now.


Civil War Museum Campaign Tour 2017 – Fredericksburg, Virginia

October 22-25, 2017

Here are the details.