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Civil War Museum

In-Person Workshops

Civil War

Coffee & The Civil War

*** This workshop has been canceled and will be rescheduled in the fall/winter  |  Monday, June 10  |  6:00pm – 7:30pm  |  Presenters: Doug Dammann and Steve Acker  |  $20 ($25 non-members)  | 

No single item of food or drink meant as much to Civil War soldiers as coffee. They talked about it, wrote about it, and dreamed about it. Based on first hand Civil War accounts, this workshop explores the different methods Civil War soldiers used to obtain and brew their coffee and also discusses what soldiers used as substitutes when coffee beans became scarce. attendees will participate in guided tours of different areas of the Fiery Trial, demonstrations of how to brew alternative Civil War coffee drinks, and a coffee tasting to finish off the workshop.


Illinois Holds the Key: The Vicksburg Campaign

Tuesdays, August 13 and 20  |  6:00pm – 8:00pm  |  Presenter: Mr. Robert Girardi  |  $24 ($30 for non-members)  |  Register Here

President Abraham Lincoln remarked, “Vicksburg is the key! The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.”  He recognized that control of the Mississippi River was a strategic goal for both sides during the Civil War and as the Confederate strongpoints between Cairo, Illinois, and New Orleans fell, one by one, Vicksburg and Port Hudson stood as the last remaining obstacles to Federal dominance of the river.

If we consider that to be true, then Illinois held that key. During the course of the campaign against Vicksburg, Illinois sent more men to fight than any other state. The forces from the Prairie State, numbering 36,325 made up fully 20% of Grant’s Army. Illinois sent 56 Infantry regiments, 10 cavalry regiments and 15 batteries to the campaign, a total of 79 units. Leadership in the campaign was also heavily represented by Illinois men. U.S. Grant, John A. McClernand, John A. Logan and a host of other Illinois officers facilitated the victory.

Whether it was leadership, manpower, supplies, or naval support, Illinois led the way to victory at Vicksburg.

Robert I. Girardi will discuss the important role that Illinois played in the Vicksburg Campaign in a two-part program that discusses the soldiers’ and leaders’ participation. Several battles and multiple personalities and events will be highlighted throughout the sessions.

Photography and the Civil War

Photography and the Civil War

Saturday, August 24  |  10:00am – 2:30pm  |  Instructor: David Rambow  |  $24 ($30 for non-members)  |  Register Here

One Tintype Sitting: $72 ($90 for non-members)  |  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.

Edgar Allen Poe

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.

The Civil War Museum After Dark Tours

The Civil War Museum After Dark: A Soldier’s Life

Thursday, July 11  |  6:30pm – 8:00pm  |  Presenter: Doug Dammann  |  $16 ($20 for non-members)  |  Register Here

During this special access after-hours tour of the Fiery Trial, participants will be introduced to original Civil War-era artifacts that speak to the daily life of a Civil War soldier.  Attendees will learn about the uniforms, weapons, and accouterments carried by soldiers while having the opportunity to handle and inspect several of these original artifacts. Because of the hands-on nature of the tour, the number of participants in this tour will be limited to 12.

The Civil War Museum After Dark: Wide Awakes

Wednesday, October 30  |  7:00pm – 8:00pm  |  Presenter: Doug Dammann  |  $16 ($20 for non-members)  |  Register Here

Who were the Wide Awakes and why did they participate in nighttime torch-lit parades wearing special costumes? Why did the wounds of some soldiers glow after the Battle of Shiloh? Did Mary Todd Lincoln attend seances at the White House?

Curator Doug Dammann will lead a lantern-lit tour of the Civil War Museum’s Fiery Trial gallery that explores these and other strange and odd stories of the Civil War.

Walking Tour of the Grounds of the Milwaukee Soldier’s Home

Saturday, May 6  |  10:00am – 12:00pm  |  $12 ($15 non-members) Register Here

Participants must provide their own transportation to the site.

The Civil War Museum, in collaboration with volunteers from the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, is excited to offer a walking tour of the buildings and grounds of the newly rehabbed Milwaukee Soldiers Home. Highlights of the tour include the interior of Old Main and the building’s history exhibit as well as exterior stops at the Home’s historic Theater, Church, Library, and Cemetery. Our guides will also concentrate on the personal stories of the Civil War veterans who made the Soldier’s Home their home after the war.

The group will meet at the grounds at 10am to begin the walking tour. Parking is available.

A portion of the proceeds from the tour will be donated to the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance. 

Virtual Workshops

I Dread the Thought of the Place: The Battle of Antietam and the End of the Maryland Campaign

Wednesday, January 17  |  6:30pm  |  Presenter: Scott Hartwig  |  $12 ($15 non-members)  |  Register Here

Scott Hartwig’s I Dread the Thought of the Place, on the Battle of Antietam and its aftermath, was published in August 2023.  He said of his book, “I did not set out to write this book because Antietam was forgotten, or because I wanted to uncover the ‘untold’ Antietam, or wanted to make some claim that would be controversial to sell books.  I wanted to tell the story, the whole story, not just the battle, and I wanted it to be an honest book whose focus was on the people who lived through Antietam.”  In this Virtual class we will examine some of the major moments of the battle and the decisions that shaped them, and assess the leaders who had to make those decisions.

Participants will be sent a link the day-of to access this live virtual workshop at their home computers.


Cancellations and Refunds

A full refund will be issued if the Kenosha Public Museum, Dinosaur Discovery Museum, or Civil War Museum cancels a workshop or camp.

All refunds requested within 72 hours of the program are subject to a $10 processing fee.

No refunds are offered on or after the day a workshop or camp begins.

Class cancellations can happen if enrollment minimums are not met two days prior to the event. You will be contacted via phone or email if your event is canceled.

If unforeseen circumstances (i.e. weather, power outages, instructor illness) occur within 72 hours of the workshop or camp and the program must be canceled, the museum will do its best to reschedule or provide a voucher to take a program of a similar or same cost.

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