Civil War Museum
Annual Events

Annual Events

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The Great Lakes Civil War Forum: Vicksburg Is The Key

Saturday, September 23  |  9:30am – 4:00pm  |  $64 ($80 non-member) Register Here 

Check-in starts at 8:30am, program begins at 9:30am.

Schedule of Presentations


Through all the long months of operations against Vicksburg, Champion Hill stands as the most decisive battle of that decisive campaign. Fought on May 16, 1863, Champion Hill almost literally decided the fate of Vicksburg and the Confederate army that defended it. Ulysses S. Grant even wrote to his friend William T. Sherman that night, “I am of the opinion that the battle of Vicksburg has been fought.” So why was the fight such a decisive Union victory? Terrain, numbers, and timing all played a role, but in the end, leadership was the biggest factor in victory and defeat. This lecture will compare and contrast Union and Confederate Leadership at Champion Hill and analyze the results mainly within the context of the two generals involved.

Andrew Miller, Lead Interpretive Ranger and Historic Weapons Program Coordinator, Vicksburg National Military Park, will present a program that focuses on the service of the over 9000 soldiers from Wisconsin who participated in the campaign to capture Vicksburg.

Medical professionals studying the Civil War have concluded that sickness from infectious illness was a major factor affecting the Vicksburg campaign. Confederate forces had a greater total illness rate, diarrhea, and malaria than did the attacking Union forces, and it is reasonable to conclude that medical care affected the outcome of the Vicksburg campaign. Dr. Michael Brown avers that “The South’s significant medical disadvantages and increased risk of infectious diseases ensured a Northern victory.” We will examine the human interest perspective of this aspect of the Vicksburg campaign, reflecting on the toll that sickness and disease played. Also considered will be some of the forgotten stories of people who suffered and died because of health issues. Notable among those who died by disease were General John Bowen, Willie Sherman, and several Catholic clergy ministering to troops at the time.

One of the most well-known images of the Civil War is that of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry Color Guard and their live eagle mascot, Old Abe, following the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi in July 1863. Despite the subsequent fame of this iconic image, the true identities of many of the color guard members have been lost to time. In this work, researchers from Purdue University Indianapolis, assisted by Civil War historians, reexamine evidence from primary and secondary sources to identify a group of soldiers who potentially appear in the image. Using state-of-the-art, artificial intelligence-based face recognition techniques, researchers evaluate the relative likelihood of several of the color guard members’ potential identities. As a result, the identities of several previously unidentified color guard members are proposed, as well as new alternate identities of several previously-identified color guard members.

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Bus Trip: Gettysburg–A Midwestern Perspective

Sunday, October 22 – Wednesday, October 25  |  $880-$1075* ($955-$1150** non-members)

Register Here

*$880 per person for double occupancy, $1075 per person for single occupancy

**$955 per person for double occupancy for non-members, $1150 per person for single occupancy for non-members

McPherson’s Ridge. The Wheatfield. Cemetery Ridge. East Cavalry Field. The names are synonymous with the Gettysburg Battlefield.

From October 22-25 2023, the Civil War Museum is sponsoring a campaign tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield. During this tour, we will take you to these iconic locations, but present them through the experiences of the Upper Midwestern troops who were there.

In addition to exploring the battlefield, our group will have the opportunity to enjoy a private, behind-the-scenes presentation to the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama, completed in 1884 by French artist Paul Philippoteaux. The trip also includes a tour and program at the newly completed Adams County Historical Society Museum as well as an evening presentation by Gettysburg Foundation President and CEW Wayne Motts.

The goal of our tour is to present the Gettysburg experience in a new light, highlighting the ground where Upper Midwestern soldiers marched and fought.


OUR COST INCLUDES Hotel stay for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners; all motor coach services, tour guides, admissions, and evening programs. A cash bar is available for Monday and Tuesday dinners.

TOUR BASE HOTEL Comfort Suites, 945 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325

TRANSPORTATION Attendees are responsible for their own transportation from their  homes to the base hotel. Flights can be arranged through Baltimore Washington International Airport.

ROOMMATES Indicate the name of the person with whom you wish to share a room. If you would like help in finding a roommate, please let the museum know at registration and we will attempt to find you a roommate. If a roommate cannot be found, the single occupancy rate must be paid.

CANCELLATIONS A full refund will only be issued for a space canceled by September 1, 2023, or if the trip is canceled.  A refund will be  issued after that date only if a suitable replacement can be found for the canceled space.

Tour Itinerary

3:00 – 6:00pm  |  Check In

6:00 – 7:00pm  | Welcome Dinner at the hotel

7:00 – 8:00pm  |  Dinner Program at the hotel with Wayne Motts, President and CEO, Gettysburg Foundation

Breakfast at Hotel

8:30am  |  Load Bus—Garry Adelman Guide

8:30  – 11:30am  |  July 1, 1863 Battlefield sites, McPherson’s Ridge

12:00 – 1:00pm  |  Lunch, Gettysburg College

1:00 – 4:30pm  |  July 1, 1863 Battlefield sites, 11th Corps and Cemetery Ridge

5:00 – 6:30pm  |  Gettysburg Cyclorama, An Evening With the Painting program

7:00pm  |  Dinner at Appalachian Brewing Company

Breakfast at Hotel

8:30am  |  Load Bus—Phil Muskett Guide

8:30 – 11:30pm  |  July 2, 1863 Battlefield sites, Peach Orchard, Wheatfield

12:00 – 12:30pm  |   Box Lunch at Adams County Historical Society

12:30 – 2:00pm  |   Tour and Program Adams County Historical Society

2:30 – 5:00pm  |   July 2, 1863 Battlefield sites, Little Round Top, Culps Hill

5:30 – 7:30pm  |  Dinner at The Inn at Herr Ridge

Breakfast at Hotel

8:30am  |  Load Bus—Phil Muskett Guide

8:30 – 10:30pm  |  Tour July 3 Battlefield sites, Cemetery Ridge

11:00 – 1:00pm  |  Self-Guided Tour and Lunch at Gettysburg Visitor Center

1:00 – 3:30pm  |  Tour July 3, 1863 sites, East Cavalry Field

4:00pm  |  Return to Hotel, End of Tour

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Victorian Spiritualism

Friday, October 27  |  6:00pm – 8:30pm  |  $44 ($55 non-members)  |  Register Here 

Connect with your past self or peer into your future at this “otherworldy” event! Inspired by the golden age of magic, explore the spiritual lives of the Victorians through a parlor performance of Ghost stories, followed by common spiritualist activities such as tea leaf reading, palmistry and tarot cards, ghost hunting, ghost photography, and talismans. Snacks, beer, and wine provided. Registration required, 21+ only. This event is for entertainment purposes only, the Museum does not guarantee any responses, connections, or reactions from the dead.



Museum Store Members Only Sale

Friday, November 24 – Sunday, November 26

Kenosha Public Museum, Civil War Museum, Dinosaur Discovery Museum

Friends of the Museum members get 20 % off in addition to the 10% member discount for a total of 30% off all purchases*.

*Excludes consignments, books, and media.

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Victorian Christmas

Saturday, December 2  |  10:00am – 4:00pm  |  Free

Step back in time and celebrate Christmas traditions from the Victorian era. This museum-wide program features an afternoon of holiday music, living history presentations, special displays, dancing, crafts, and activities that explore how Upper Midwestern soldiers and civilians celebrated the Christmas season before and during the Civil War.

The day also includes:

  • Free entry into the Civil War Museum’s Fiery Trial Gallery
  • Civil War soldier and 19th century civilian living history demonstrations
  • Ornament making, wreath decoration, and Civil War-era games
  • A concert of holiday favorites performed by Ed Pierce and the Palmyra Eagle Brass Band
  • Holiday music performed by the Harborside Academy Chamber Orchestra
  • Victorian Dance demonstrations and instruction
  • A performance of  A Christmas Carol by Theater Five-One of Antioch, Illinois


Museum Crawl

July 2024

Join us for Kenosha’s favorite fundraising museum party is back! Make your way through our three museum stops, sampling delicious food and beer from local restaurants and breweries, while enjoying live music and playing crazy games we’d never usually allow indoors. Must be 21+ to attend. Look for information in the Spring.

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