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Public Programs

Second Friday Lecture Series

The Second Friday Lecture Series is a monthly Civil War lecture program organized by the Civil War Museum of Kenosha, Wisconsin. All programs are held for an in-person audience at the museum. The lectures are recorded and posted to the museum’s YouTube channel.

The Second Friday Lectures begin at 12:00pm and there is no cost to attend. The Civil War Museum graciously thanks the Milwaukee Civil War Round Table and Iron Brigade Association for sponsoring this series of lectures.

Soldier Boy

The Soldier Boy from Lena

Friday, May 10  |  12:00pm – 1:00pm  |  Speaker: William Grigg

The Soldier Boy from Lena is based on the book of the same name featuring original content on the life of Henry Eugene Way.  Way served in the Union Army from 1862-1864 in the 72nd Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers, also known as the First Chicago Board of Trade Regiment. He was 16 years of age when he ran away from his home in Lena, Illinois and enlisted at Camp Douglas in Chicago using an alias.

Mr. Grigg’s presentation of Way’s story as a member of the 72nd Illinois includes images of maps, photographs and drawings from that era, postal history with images of war time stationery, the history of Civil War locations where his letters were written, and images of his letters completely transcribed with their mailing envelopes shown.

William E. Grigg is an accountant by profession with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master’s degree in finance. He worked in public accounting for over 50 years managing his own firm specializing in corporation executive relocation tax complications, as well as auditing, accounting, and financial consulting for 32 public libraries in Illinois.  He taught at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, the Chicago Public school system, and at Illinois Institute of Technology, the latter his alma mater.

His writing and publishing experience includes tax quick reference guides prepared and printed annually for tax preparers published for over 27 years. Other writing includes serving as a reporter and managing editor of the college newspaper at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Veteran Mental Health

Post Civil War Veteran Mental Health

Friday, June 14  |  12:00pm – 1:00pm  |  Speaker: Dr. Gregory Burek

Dr. Gregory Burek’s presentation will focus on post-Civil War diagnosis and treatment of PTSD or other mental illnesses that were seen in Civil War veterans. 

Dr. Gregory Burek is the Medical Director of BRAVE (Building Resilience through Action in Veterans and First Responders) at Medical College of Wisconsin. The program is focused on testing Traumatic Brain Injury Post-traumatic Stress and other invisible wounds of service. 

Dr. Burek served in the United States Marine Corps between 1999-2003 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 for Operation Iraq Freedom. After his service, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Biological Science, then went on to earn a Medical Doctorate from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2014. He completed his residency in Psychiatry with the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2018.


Buffalo Soldiers: The Invisible Soldiers Who Fought For a Dream

Friday, July 12  |  12:00pm – 1:00pm  |  Speaker: Darrell Greene, LTC(R)

Learn the history, sacrifices, and incredible achievements of the Buffalo Soldiers and African Americans who have served in our armed forces. 

In 1770, Crispus Attucks, an African American man, was the first American to die in the fight for the independence of the United States. Since that time, African Americans have always played a significant and important role in the military history of our great country. However, it was the unsung heroes of the legendary Buffalo Soldiers that set the standards for all of the successes, contributions and accomplishments of African American men and women serving in today’s military force. 

Buffalo soldiers helped to pave the way for the expansion of white settlers moving Westward by maintaining order between the Native (Indigenous) Americans and the settlers, helped to build forts and roads, patrolled our borders, protected National parks, mail stagecoaches, and railroad construction crews. They were the Invisible Warriors that led the way for all who followed in their footsteps.

New Look

A New Look: Gainesville and Brawner Farm

Friday, August 9  |  12:00pm – 1:00pm  |  Speaker: Lance Herdegen

The Iron Brigade’s opening battle came August 28, 1862 on the John Brawner farm near Gainesville, Virginia. The story has been told before, but never from a fog of war view with one author writing of the Union side and another from the Confederate. There is much to learn about command decisions both successful and failures. Lance Herdegen, who wrote the Iron Brigade account, tells what he discovered.


The Letterman Medical Evacuation Plan at Antietam

Friday, September 13  |  12:00pm – 1:00pm  |  Speaker: Dr. Gordon Dammann

Dr. Jonathan Letterman forever changed the course of both the Civil War and modern medicine with the innovations he installed within the Medical Department of the Union Army between 1862 and 1864.  The crowning medical achievement of what became known as “The Letterman Plan” occurred during and after the September 17, 1862 Battle of Antietam.  Letterman’s system brought order out of the chaos and carnage of battle, and thousands of soldiers benefitted from the improvements he created. 

Public Programs

Public programs are free to attend and pre-registration is not required unless otherwise noted.

Kenosha Pops

Kenosha Pops Opening Concert

Saturday, June 8  |  2:00pm – 3:00pm  

The summer concert season for the Kenosha Pops begins with their annual free indoor performance at the Civil War Museum’s Freedom Hall.

Voices of Freedom

Voices of Freedom

Tuesday, June 18  |  12:00pm – 3:00pm

Explore the compelling narratives of 19th-century African Americans who courageously traversed the Underground Railroad to secure their freedom or generously aided others on their path to liberty. Engage in an interactive experience by crafting tabletop exhibits showcasing artifacts symbolizing the profound journeys of these remarkable individuals.


“There Will Never Be Any Such Gathering of Men Again” The 1913 Soldiers Reunion at Gettysburg

Saturday, June 29  |  1:00pm – 2:00pm  |  Speaker: John L. Hopkins

It was front-page news throughout the country—the largest gathering of Union and Confederate veterans ever held. “[It] will be talked about and written about as long as the American people boast of the dauntless courage of Gettysburg,” declared a woman who accompanied her father to the reunion. But as the years passed, it was all but forgotten. The 1913 Gettysburg reunion is a story of 53,000 old comrades and former foes reunited, and of the tension, even half a century later, between competing narratives of reconciliation and remembrance.

 John L. Hopkins is the author of a new book published by Savas Beattie entitled The World Will Never See the Like. He is a communication and public relations professional with more than three decades of experience in higher education, nonprofit, and agency settings. He was born and raised in New York City, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Williams College, and was transplanted to the Midwest in the mid-90s. He and his wife have three grown daughters. This is his first book.

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

Special Exhibition Programs

Special Exhibition programs are free to attend and pre-registration is not required unless otherwise noted.

Faith in the Fight Film

Faith in the Fight Documentary Screening

Tuesday, October 17  |  6:30pm – 8:00pm  |  Speaker: Rev. Robert Miller

Join the Civil War Museum as Rev. Robert Miller discusses the documentary film Faith in the Fight. The film discusses the roles played by the nearly 120 Catholic priests who ministered to the spiritual needs of both armies during the Civil War, focusing particularly on those who served in the Union Army of the Cumberland. This evening event will include introductory remarks, a showing of the documentary film, and a question and answer session.

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