Pages Navigation Menu

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, April 13, 2018; Noon
Private John C. Fleming of the Chicago Board of Trade Battery

Presented by Blaise J. Arena. Over 3 million soldiers fought in the Civil War, including Private John C. Fleming of Chicago. In 1862 a young Fleming joined the newly formed Chicago Board of Trade Artillery Battery and served in the Union Army throughout the war. Fleming was a prolific letter writer to his family, and his letters are now archived in Chicago’s Newberry Library. Mr. Arena has been transcribing these letters and will give an illustrated presentation sharing what he has learned. Using images and transcriptions of Fleming’s letters he will describe Fleming, his day-to-day army camp life, and the Board of Trade Artillery Battery.

Friday, May 11, 2018; Noon
The Interesting Story of Surgeon Jacob Ebersole, 19th Indiana

Presented by Doug Dammann. Surgeon Jacob Ebersole joined the 19th Indiana in April of 1862, just in time to take care of the Iron Brigade wounded from the battles of Gainesville, South Mountain, and Antietam. In this talk, Mr. Dammann will highlight the career of one of the finest surgeons in the brigade.

Friday, June 8, 2018; Noon
What is a Zouave?

Presented by Terry R. Dyer. Where did they come from and how was it and by whom did their name, uniforms, and tactics of drill come to America, and especially to the city of Rockford, Illinois? Ten days after the Civil War broke out, the Zouaves of Rockford left for Springfield, making them the first military contingent to be mobilized in the State of Illinois.

Meet the Author: Ron Larson – Wisconsin and the Civil War
Friday, May 25, 2018; Noon

Drawing on unpublished letters, photos, and new research, Kenosha author Ron Larson tells Wisconsin’s Civil War story, from the famous exploits of the Iron Brigade to the heretofore largely unknown contributions of the Badger state’s women, African Americans, and American Indians.



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

Friday, March 16: Fresh off the Press! Get a tour of our exhibit, Through British Eyes, followed by a printing press demonstration and activity taught by Ashley Town of Bayview Printing Company.

Friday, April 20, 2018, Animals in the Civil War – Learn about the animals who witnessed and participated in the Civil War. This program features service dogs.

Friday, May 18, 2018, Pottery – Civil War soldiers came home to have all sorts of jobs, including potters and other artists. Learn about soldiers’ lives after the war, and make your own pinch pot with artist, Carley Lyons.

Friday, June 15, 2018, Gardens – Learn about what type of plants were grown in gardens during the Civil War. Taste different vegetables and fruits and plant your own seeds to take home.

Meet the Author: Friends of the Wigwam

Friday, March 23, 2018; Noon

Local author John Huelskamp discusses the inspiration behind his Midwest based historical fiction novel Friends of the Wigwam about six teenage friends from Northern Illinois whose innocence is stripped from them seemingly overnight in the brutal setting of the American Civil War. The story profiles noted individuals like Abraham Lincoln and General U.S. Grant, but also unsung Illinois patriots like Colonel Elmer Ellsworth of the Chicago U.S. Zouaves, and Private Albert D. J. Cashier, a young woman patriot who mustered into the 95th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The novel also reveals previously unpublished letters sent home to wives and families bringing to life a volatile nation at war. Celebrate the successes and struggles of these true-to-life Illinois citizens and soldiers during this climactic period in American history.

History Comes Alive

Monday, April 2, 2018; 1pm-4pm

Learn about Civil War artillery using stomp rockets, command your own regiment using miniature soldiers, design and build a boat, make and launch a miniature hot air balloon, and more.



Home Front Seminar

Saturday, April 7, 2018; 8:30am-4:30pm | $50 ($40 FOM) includes lunch | Register Here

The Civil War Museum’s annual Home Front Seminar highlights topics and talks pertaining to the non-military and social history aspects of the Civil War period.



Seeking Justice Then and Now: The Holocaust and Beyond

Wednesday, April 11, 2018; 7pm | Location: Kenosha Public Museum

Mr. Steen Metz was a young boy living in Denmark when the Nazis conquered the country in 1940. He and his family experienced three years of occupation until they were arrested and deported to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in Czechoslovakia in 1943. Hear his story of hunger, hard labor, brutal living conditions and survival.

A reception will follow the program. Sponsored by the Kenosha County Clergy Association and the Kenosha Public Museums.

Women in History Tea: Meet Louisa May Alcott

Saturday, May 12, 2018; 1pm | Register Here
$35 ($25 FOM) adults 17 and older; $20 ($15 FOM) children 10-16 (children must be accompanied by a paid adult)

Join author Louisa May Alcott, portrayed by actress Debra Ann Miller, for tea Mother’s Day weekend as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Little Women. Poet and author, abolitionist and nurse, patriot and suffragist, Louisa May Alcott was so much more than the author of Little Women. In this 45-minute performance, the audience meets with this prolific American author at the height of her health and success. We learn of the hopes, the heartbreaks, and the experiences of Louisa May Alcott’s life from which she drew inspiration for her novels, short stories, and poems. This theatrical presentation, written using excerpts from her letters and journals, allows Louisa May Alcott to speak to us in her own words – of her childhood, her experiences as a Civil War nurse, her struggles to support her family, and the equal rights of all.

Includes refreshments.

The Civil War Museum’s 10th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Join the Museum for a free celebration including performances and activities all day. Details coming soon.


Great Lakes Civil War Forum

Saturday, September 15, 2018; 8:30am-4:30pm | $60 ($50 FOM) includes lunch | Register Here

Conquer or Perish – The Shiloh Campaign

More information.



Civil War Museum Campaign Tour: Chickamauga and Chattanooga

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

Itinerary and details.