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The history, the people and the stories of the Upper Midwest



Details about Events and Classes can be found here.

2nd Friday Lecture Series

Friday, October 12, 2018; Noon
He Was Called Billy Yank

Presented by Lance Herdegen. The Union soldier was called by many names during the American Civil War, but is remembered today as “Billy Yank.” In the first days of the conflict, he was a volunteer who enlisted for patriotic reasons to protect the Union. Later he was perhaps drafted, or accepted a bounty to enlist. In the final result, he not only saved the Union, but ended slavery. This is a look at how he lived while in uniform, what he looked like, and what he faced when he returned home.

Friday, November 9, 2018; Noon
Written on the Battlefield: Veterans Preserve Their Civil War, 1861-1900

Presented by Dr. Mary Abroe. Members of the Civil War generation were the first battlefield preservationists. By the early twentieth century old soldiers and their allies had created a core group of monument-dotted landscapes that commemorated the courage and military skill of American fighting men, both Yankee and Confederate. Reflecting contemporary nationalism and the period’s culture of reconciliation, preservation of the 1890s reconstructed the stories of great battles on the ground where they happened rather than recalling the reasons for the conflict: with the passage of time, remembrance for many had come to focus on the war itself rather than its racial or political issues. What the first parks tell us about the Civil War’s meaning to its participants is an enduring legacy of the founding decade




Spark! is a monthly program for individuals in early to mid-stages of memory loss and their caregivers. Participants are engaged in lively conversations, storytelling, interactive exhibit experiences, object handling, and other multi-sensory activities. Space is limited, so reservations are required. 262-653-4423 or




Upcoming Spark! Dates and Topics

October 19: Early Wisconsin By the time of the Civil War, Wisconsin had only been a state for thirteen years. Learn about what life was like in this area before the War.

November 16: Sketch Artist Using our gallery for inspiration, participants will learn the basics of sketching, a technique used by reporters and artists out at the battles.


Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation, and the Constitution
Constitution Week Public Discussion

Thursday, September 20, 2018; Noon-1pm

This round table discussion will center on the Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and how it related to the presidential powers granted to him by the Constitution.

Prior to attending, please download and read these two documents and come prepared to share your thoughts.

Emancipation Proclamation: Abraham Lincoln’s Constitutionally Modest Proposal
Lincoln Lore: Indiana’s Reaction to Lincoln’s Proclamation of Emancipation

Archaeology Day – Camp Douglas

Saturday, October 20, 2018; 1pm-2pm

The Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation conducted its first Camp Douglas excavation in June 2012. The southern side of the camp was discovered by Dr. Scott Demel and students from Loyola Chicago and Northern Michigan University. Further investigations by Dr. Michael Gregory of DePaul University were done in 2013-2017, uncovering Civil War artifacts. At this presentation, Dr. Gregory and David Keller will give the latest information on the work being done at Camp Douglas and how the team is hopeful the site will be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Veterans Day Commemorative Celebration

Saturday, November 10, 2018; 11am-3pm

Join the Civil War Museum and the Navy Club 40 for a program, concert, and reception to honor veterans. All are welcome.

12pm: Navy Club Program
1pm: Veterans Reception
2pm: Patriotic Concert by the Navy Band Brass Ambassadors

Meet the Author: Looking for Lincoln in Wisconsin

Saturday, November 17, 2018; 1pm-2pm

Author and Lincoln historian Steven Rogstad discusses his new book Looking for Lincoln in Wisconsin.


Civil War Museum Campaign Tour: Chickamauga and Chattanooga

Sunday, October 21, 2018 – Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Itinerary and details.