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Civil War Museum
Special Events

Special Events

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Civil War Medical Weekend with the 17th Corps Field Hospital Group

Saturday, February 24  |  10:00am – 4:00pm  |  Free

Sunday, February 25  |  12:00pm – 4:00pm  |  Free

Join the Civil War Museum and the 17th Corps Field Hospital for a weekend of interactive displays, presentations, and programs that explore the medical care provided to soldiers during the Civil War.  Members of the 17th Corps Field Hospital, the largest Civil War Medical unit in the Midwest, will set up displays and materials highlighting Civil War era surgery, nursing care, pharmaceuticals, and embalming in the Civil War Museum’s Freedom Hall.  

Interactive presentations, materials and displays will be available throughout the weekend. 

Activities include:

*Civil War surgical demonstrations both Saturday and Sunday.

*View hundreds of original surgical instruments up close. 

*Hear about  the different diseases that affected soldiers during the Civil War. 

*Learn how women nursed the wounded and sick. 

*”Make pills” with the local Doctor Milam using an 1800’s pill roller. 

The 17th Corps Field Hospital is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in Illinois that is dedicated to educating the public about Civil War Medicine.  The group consists of educators, RN’s, accountants, first responders, retired Police Officers, and college students that do medical displays and demonstrations in the Midwest. 

Special Programs
Light in the Darkness: A Civil War Chaplain Study

Saturday, February 24  |  1:00pm  |  Speaker: Mr. Rodney Miller  |  Free

Whatever their denomination, the best chaplains were available to help in any situation. A chaplain’s formal religious work included holding services and preaching, visiting hospitals, hosting Bible study, performing funerals, and praying with soldiers. Other informal duties included letter writing, delivering mail, nursing the sick and wounded, handing out reading materials, and transporting money home for men of their regiment.  

Chaplins earned the respect from their regiment through dedicated and reliable service and established themselves as a positive moral influence on the march, in camp, and during battle. 

Rodney Miller’s program will expand on these spiritual and secular roles played by chaplains in the Union Army.

A Desirable Citizen: The Complicated Lives of James and Ann Ellis

Sunday, February 25  |  1:00pm  |  Speaker: Mr. Jeff Kannel  |  Free

Born enslaved on a plantation near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, James Ellis escaped to the Union Army during the Civil War and served as a cook and rostered private in the 29th Wisconsin Infantry.  Coming to Wisconsin with his regiment after the war, he was a hard-working and thrifty man who became an important figure among the small, scattered community of African Americans in post-war Jefferson County.  Eight-year-old Ann Ellis’ mother died while they were in the contraband camp at Cairo, IL, but she managed to get to Wisconsin in a very different way.  James and Ann dealt with tragedy in the family they created, but found a place for themselves in Fort Atkinson. 

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11th Annual Museum Crawl Fundraiser

Friday, July 12  |  6:00pm – 10:00pm

$72 ($85 for non-members)  *VIP* Tickets   

$52 ($65 for non-members)  Regular Admission

Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Tuesday, May 28

Join us for Kenosha’s favorite fundraising museum party! 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.

New this year!  Special *VIP* tickets

Elevate your Museum Crawl experience with our exclusive VIP ticket package! As a VIP guest, you’ll enjoy a seamless evening with expedited registration and a commemorative t-shirt, plus a special raffle ticket offering a chance to win an exclusive prize package. VIP Ticket sales close June 28th so don’t delay!

Vendors Include:
  • Boat House Dockside Pub & Eatery
  • Captain Mike’s
  • Frank’s Diner
  • PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co
  • Rustic Road Brewing Company
  • Scoop’s Ice Cream & Candy
  • Waterfront Warehouse
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Toward Justice

Tuesday, July 30  |  5:30pm – 7:30pm  |  Free, registration required  |  Register Here

We invite you to attend a special artistic commemoration marking the 156th Anniversary of the Equal Protection Clause and the ratification of the 14th Amendment featuring captivating performances by The Prairie String Quartet and Dr. Shannon Sloan-Spice.

Experience “Toward Justice,” a musical and narrated piece that delves into the origins and evolution of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment—the cornerstone of American legislation. This performance, dedicated to the citizens of Kenosha, promises to illuminate the profound significance of this constitutional milestone.

In addition, the evening will include a stirring performance of “Caroline Quarlls: My Independence Day.” Dr. Shannon Sloan-Spice will bring to life the compelling first-person account of Caroline Quarlls, recounting her daring 1842 journey through Wisconsin to secure freedom in Canada.

Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. 

Schedule of events:

5:30-6:00pm Reception, music and hors d’oeuvres – no alcohol

6:00-6:15pm Toward Justice performed by the Prairie String Quartet and Speaker

6:15-7:15pm Caroline Quarlls: My Independence Day performed by Dr. Shannon Sloan-Spice

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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.

Schedule of Events

10:00am – 10:30am  |   MGV Harmonia German Male Chorus

11:00am – 12:15pm  |  A Holiday Concert with Ed Pierce and the Palmyra Eagle Band

12:30pm – 1:15pm  |  Victorian Dance Demonstration and Instruction with Gary and Karen Alexander

1:30pm – 2:00pm  |  The Harborside Academy Chamber Orchestra

2:30pm – 3:30pm  |  “A Christmas Carol” adapted and performed by Theater Five-One

All day

  • Craft activities in the Museum Lobby
  • Historic Demonstrations and Exhibits featuring Glass Blowing, Book Binding, Basketry, Quilting, Spinning and Printmaking on the 2nd Floor
  • Free Entry into the Fiery Trial Gallery featuring Soldier Exhibitions and Living History Demonstrations
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Photography and the Civil War

Saturday, August 24  |  10:00am – 2:30pm  |  Lecture & Tintype Sitting (prices vary)

Lecture only: $24 ($30 for non-members) Register Here

One Tintype Sitting: $72 ($90 for non-members) per group Register Here

Join Historian and wet-plate photographer David Rambow for a deep dive into Civil War photography. Learn about wet-plate photography, tintypes, carte de vista, and what these artifacts reveal about the era. Following the lecture, you can have your own tintype portrait taken by Rambow to cherish as a piece of photography history.

The introduction of photography enabled the documentation of army camps and battlefields, exposing viewers to the unfiltered truths of war. These images depicted the brutal aftermath of conflict, evoking a palpable sense of reality and immediacy that shattered any idealized perceptions of war’s grandeur.

*The lecture and tintype sitting experience are separate ticketed events. Each person in your group should purchase a ticket for the lecture. If you wish to include a tintype sitting, only one tintype seating ticket is required per group.

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The Great Lakes Civil War Forum: Mr. Lincoln’s Navy

Saturday, September 14  |  9:30am – 4:00pm  |  $68 ($85 non-member)  |   Register Here 

Check-in starts at 8:30am, program begins at 9:30am. Includes full day of programs, coffee, refreshments, and a catered lunch.

Schedule of Presentations


The Confederates had limited resources to counter Union ironclads blocking Southern harbors and rivers. Matthew Fontaine Maury and others developed torpedoes (mines) to block federal riverine movements. These weapons dramatically damaged several Union vessels. Captain John Worden’s USS Montauk struck a torpedo; yet his quick actions helped to save his ship enabling it to fight another day. Other US Navy monitors were not so fortunate. USS Tecumseh struck a torpedo during the Battle of Mobile Bay and sank in 90 seconds. 

John V. Quarstein, Director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, presents Civil War tours and lectures across the country and is the author of 18 books, with three more on the way. He leads the Museum’s Civil War and Hampton Roads Lecture Series and is now writing blogs and presenting online content via YouTube Live.

The Union inland navy that became the Mississippi Squadron is one of the greatest, yet least studied aspects of the Civil War. Without it, however, the war in the West may not have been won, and the war in the East might have lasted much longer and perhaps ended differently.

The vessels they created were highly specialized craft which operated in the narrow confines of the Western rivers in places that could not otherwise receive fire support. Ironclads and gunboats protected army forces and convoyed much needed supplies to far-flung Federal forces. They patrolled thousands of miles of rivers and fought battles that were every bit as harrowing as land engagements yet inside iron monsters that created stifling heat with little ventilation. This talk is about the intrepid men who fought under these conditions and the highly improvised boats in which they fought. 

Gary Joiner grew up in Farmerville, La. As a small boy visiting Civil War battlefields, he was inspired to learn more about history and, while he did not know what a historian was at that time, he considered that to be his ultimate career goal. Following graduation from high school, he attended Louisiana Tech University, earning a bachelor’s degree with a double major in history and geography. He earned a master’s degree from the same institution, focusing on military history. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy Degree from St. Martin’s College, Lancaster, England. 

Joseph Bailey was a lumberman from Wisconsin with a civil engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He started the Civil War as the Captain of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Bailey was appointed acting Engineer at New Orleans after Major General Benjamin Butler occupied that city. The real break for Joseph Bailey was when he accompanied General Nathaniel Banks on the 1864 Red River Campaign. The Red River Campaign was not successful and General Bank’s army was in serious trouble and needed the 10 river gunboats of Commander David Dixion Porter. However, the gun boats were stranded by low water at Alexandria and it appeared that the boats might be captured and the army surrendered. Bailey suggested a wing dam be built to raise the water level of the river enough to allow the gunboats to pass Alexandria. General Banks was skeptical but Commander Porter convinced him to listen to the plan. Bailey had done this in Wisconsin to get logs down rivers and was sure it would work. General Banks accepted the plan and put soldiers to work to construct the dam. The Bailey Dam worked as predicted and General Banks’ army and the gunboats were saved. 

Michael Goc is the author, editor of more than ninety books on Wisconsin historical  subjects, seven of which have received Awards of Merit (book of the year) from the Wisconsin Historical Society.  His work has appeared in numerous popular and scholarly publications. He has also worked as a Wisconsin history commentator for Wisconsin Public Radio and was Historical Consultant for the first seventeen years of the Hometown Wisconsin historical series for PBS-Wisconsin.

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.

Drawing upon his study of a representative cohort of battle-hardened Union soldiers and sailors who lost right arm function, research into the multifaceted impact of war on survivors, and longtime work with modern-day combat veterans, psychiatrist and author Dr. Stephen A. Goldman will explore superb naval efforts within the Left-Armed Corps. He will then link the veterans’ uniformed service to their commitment to the war’s “unfinished work”, as they battled for equality for all Americans through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Lost Cause.  

Stephen A. Goldman, M.D., a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, has decades of experience in patient care, academia, public health, and medical product safety. The only physician to serve on the Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors, he has also deeply studied the Civil War, Reconstruction, race, and the impact of war itself. His thought-provoking findings having been welcomed on television, radio, podcasts, and in other venues for many years, Dr. Goldman recently published One More War to Fight, a groundbreaking book on Union veterans’ landmark political activism, and their powerful warrior identity.

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Bus Trip: The Vicksburg Campaign Tour

Sunday, October 6 – Wednesday, October 9 |  $955-$1180* ($1035-$1260** non-members)

Register Here

Pay Balance

*$955 per person for double occupancy, $1180 per person for single occupancy

**$1035 per person for double occupancy for non-members, $1260 per person for single occupancy for non-members

From October 6-9, 2024, the Civil War Museum of Kenosha, Wisconsin, is sponsoring a campaign tour of the sites and battlefields connected with the Union Army’s 1863 campaign to capture the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  During this tour, our group will visit locations such as Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hill, the Siege lines of Vicksburg, the USS Cairo Gunboat and Museum, and the Warren County Courthouse. 

The tour will be led by Mr. Rick Martin, a thirty eight year veteran of the National Park service who spent seventeen of those years as Chief of Operations and Chief Ranger.  

The cost of the tour includes hotel stay in Vicksburg for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners; motor coach services, tour guide fees, park and museum admissions, and evening programs. 

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 The Holiday Inn Express, 4330 South Frontage Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180

TRANSPORTATION Attendees are responsible for their own transportation from their homes to the base hotel.

ROOMMATES During registration, 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 3, 2024, 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 at Holiday Inn Express, Vicksburg

6:00 – 7:00pm  | Welcome Dinner at the Home2 Suites

7:00 – 8:00pm  |  Dinner Program at the Home2 Suites with Bess Averett, Executive Director of the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park

Breakfast at Hotel

8:00am  |  Load Bus

8:30  – 11:30am  |  Tour Grant’s Canal, Grand Gulf, Ft. Cobun Sites

12:00 – 1:00pm  |  Lunch, The Old Country Store, Lorman, MS

1:00 – 5:00pm  |  Port Gibson and Raymond Battlefield Sites

5:30pm  |  Dinner at Sonny’s BBQ, Clinton MS

7:30pm  |  Return to Hotel

Breakfast at Hotel

8:00am  |  Load Bus

8:30 – 11:30pm  |  Battle of Champion Hill Sites

12:00 – 12:30pm  |   Box Lunch at Vicksburg National Military Park

12:30 – 5:00pm  |   Siege of Vicksburg Sites and Cairo Gunboat Museum

5:30 – 7:30pm  |  Dinner at Beechwood Restaurant and Lounge

Breakfast at Hotel

8:30am  |  Load Bus

8:30 – 10:30am  |  Tour Vicksburg City Sites – Pemberton’s HQ

11:00 – 12:00pm  |  Tour Old Courthouse Museum

12:00 – 1:00pm  |  Lunch Downtown Vicksburg

1:00 – 2:30pm  |  Tour Civil War Museum

2:30 – 3:30pm  |  Driving Tour of Historic Vicksburg

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

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An Evening of Edgar Allen Poe with Joshua Rex

Wednesday, October 16  |  7:00pm – 8:30pm  |  $24 ($30 for non-members)  |  Adults 21+ only  |  Register Here

October sets the stage for an evening of chilling tales by Edgar Allan Poe. Indulge in a Poe-themed beverage as you immerse yourself in the haunting world of Poe’s most iconic works. Join historian and author Joshua Rex for captivating performances of “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Raven.” Prepare for an unforgettable journey into the dark and mysterious realm of Poe’s imagination.

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