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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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Carthage College Lincoln Symposium
Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26

Carthage College, The Lincoln Forum, and the Civil War Museum are proud to present the third annual Lincoln Symposium Thursday, April 25 through Friday, April 26, 2024.

Reception, Dinner, and Program with Dr. James Oakes  |  Thursday, April 25  |  5:30pm – 9:00pm  |  Civil War Museum  |  Free, registration required

Join us at the Civil War Museum for a welcome reception and dinner free to attend for the public, students, and faculty. Public Reception begins at 5:30pm, with a dinner at 6:30pm. Following dinner will be a program by Dr. James Oakes at 7:30pm.


Keynote Speaker: James Oakes: Dueling Constitutions: William Lloyd Garrison vs Frederick Douglass

James Oakes, one of the leading historians of nineteenth-century America, has an international reputation for path-breaking scholarship. In a series of influential books and essays, he tackled the history of the United States from the Revolution through the Civil War. His early work focused on the South, examining slavery as an economic and social system that shaped Southern life. His pioneering books include The Ruling Race; Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South; The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics; and his latest, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. The latter two garnered, respectively, the 2008 and 2013 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, an annual award for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln or the American Civil War era. His most recent book is The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution, published by W. W. Norton in January 2021.

An alumnus of Baruch College, Dr. Oakes holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California-Berkeley. He has been on the faculty of the Graduate Center since 1997 and the holder of the Graduate School Humanities Chair since 1998. Before coming to the Graduate Center, he taught at Princeton and Northwestern Universities.


Friday, April 26  |  Carthage College

Schedule of Events

All programs will be presented at Campbell Student Union Auditorium unless otherwise noted.

8:00am  |  Continental Breakfast

9:15am  |  Frank Williams: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties: Then and Now

10:30am  |  Jennifer Murray: Your Golden Opportunity is Gone: An Examination of Meade and Lincoln’s Relationship

12:00pm  |  Lunch at Todd Wehr Center 128A, B & C

1:35pm  |  Harold Holzer: Abraham Lincoln, Carl Schurz of Wisconsin, and the Civil War Immigration Revolution

2:50pm  |  Edward Achorn: Abraham Lincoln, the Nominee No One Expected

About the Speakers

Frank J. Williams is the founding chairman of the Lincoln Forum, and is the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. He has been a leader in the Lincoln community for 30 years, first as president of both the Lincoln Group of Boston and the Abraham Lincoln Association. In addition, he is a major collector of Lincolniana, a peripatetic lecturer before Lincoln and Civil War groups, and a scholar whose books include, with Edna Greene Medford and Harold Holzer, The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (Louisiana State University Press, 2006). His latest book, Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America’s Greatest Leader, with William D. Pederson, was published by Southern Illinois University Press. He was a member of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and Chair of the Rhode Island Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He serves as Literary Editor of the Lincoln Herald.  His book, Judging Lincoln, is a collection of his lectures and essays published by Southern Illinois University Press. He resides in Hope Valley, Rhode Island. On December 30, 2003, the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Defense, invited Chief Justice Williams to be a member of the then military Commissions Review Panel for tribunals to be held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the rank of Major General. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 created the Court of Military Commission Review on which Williams served as Chief Justice from November 21, 2007 to December 23, 2009.

He is one of America’s 500 leading judges (out of 30,000) listed in Lawdragon.

Dr. Jennifer M. Murray is a military historian, with a specialization in the American Civil War, in the Department of History at Oklahoma State University. She is the author of On A Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013, published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2014, with a second edition that includes a new preface released in June 2023. Murray is also the author of The Civil War Begins, published by the U. S. Army’s Center of Military History in 2012. Dr. Murray is currently working on a full-length biography of George Meade, tentatively titled Meade at War: The Military Life of George Gordon Meade. This is a comprehensive treatment of Meade’s life, with a focus on his military career in the Army of the Potomac. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming, The Are Dead, And Yet They Live: Civil War Memories in a Polarized America, published with the University of Nebraska Press. Murray is a veteran faculty member at Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute and a coveted speaker at Civil War symposiums and roundtables. In addition to delivering hundreds of Civil War battlefield tours, Murray has led World War I and World War II study abroad trips to Europe. Murray worked as a National Park Service seasonal interpretive park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park for nine summers (2002-2010).

Harold Holzer is the Jonathan F. Fanton Director of The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York, a post he assumed in 2015 after 23 years as Senior Vice President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For ten years (2000-2010), Holzer also served as Co-Chairman of the U. S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed by President Clinton, and for the six years following as Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. In 2008, Holzer was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush. In 2013, he wrote the Lincoln essay in the official program for the re-inauguration of President Obama. He served as Chairman of The Lincoln Forum.

Holzer is the author, co-author, or editor of 56 books on Lincoln and the Civil War. His Lincoln and the Power of the Pressvwon the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, as well as awards from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Columbia School of Journalism. His latest book is Brought Forth on this Continent: Abraham Lincoln and American Immigration (February 2024).

Holzer’s 2012 Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America was the official young-adult companion book for the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln, for which Holzer served as script consultant. He also served three years as the Roger Hertog Fellow at the New-York Historical Society. In 2017, Holzer was awarded the NY State Archives & History Award. He served that year as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Yeshiva University, and in 2020 taught at Cardozo Law School in New York. He has also taught at his home base, Hunter College, where he edited the school’s sesquicentennial book: Hunter150 .

In 2021, Holzer was principal consultant and on-air commentator for the six-part CNN documentary series, Lincoln: Divided We Stand, which attracted an average of 1.3 million visitors per episode. He also appeared in the 2022 History Channel miniseries, Abraham Lincoln. Holzer has written more than 650 articles and reviews for both scholarly journals and popular magazines, published 17 monographs, and contributed chapters or prefaces to 67 additional volumes.

Among his other awards are a second-place Lincoln Prize in 2005 for Lincoln at Cooper Union; book prizes from the New England Society, Freedom Foundation, Manuscript Society of America, Civil War Round Table of New York, and Illinois State Historical Society; and lifetime achievement awards from the Lincoln Groups of New York, Washington, Peekskill, Kansas City, and Detroit. He has earned honorary degrees from nine colleges and universities. Hozer is a member of many history boards and advisory committees and in 1995 was co-founder of The Lincoln Forum. He served from 2015-22 as a Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Edward Achorn is the author of four critically acclaimed books about American history. His latest book, The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention That Changed History, won the Harold Holzer Lincoln Forum Book Prize for the year’s best book about Abraham Lincoln. His previous book, Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, was cited as one of the Best Books of 2020 by the Economist magazine. He is also the author of the classic baseball history books The Summer of Beer and Whiskey and Fifty-nine in ’84. 

A journalist for 41 years, he is the former Vice President and Editorial Pages Editor of The Providence Journal. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Commentary and won the Yankee Quill Award for distinguished lifetime service to journalism. He lives in an 1820s farmhouse in Rehoboth, Mass.

This event is in partnership with The Lincoln Forum, The Lincoln Presidential Foundation, and the Civil War Museum. There is no cost for the public, students, or faculty to attend. Registration is required.

Contact Dana Kroll at [email protected] with questions. 

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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.

 

 

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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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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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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

*$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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