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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, 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Drawing on unpublished letters, photos, and new research, Kenosha author Ron Larson tells Wisconsin’s Civil War story, from the famous exploits of the Iron Brigade to the heretofore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.

Friday, July 13, 2018; Noon
The Romance of War

Presented by Phil Angelo. Largely forgotten today, Confederate Cavalier John Hunt Morgan’s Great Raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio in the summer of 1863 was a much-needed boost to Confederate morale at the time of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Mr. Angelo spent four Civil War Education Association trips retracing the entire route of the raid with author and guide David Mowery. Morgan was both an image of the romantic past of Sir Walter Scott and yet ahead of his time in a sort of fast-moving World War II Lightning War. We’ll examine Morgan’s life, legacy and tragic death.

Friday, August 10, 2018; Noon
The Dakota War of 1862

Presented by Heather Bruegl. The Dakota War of 1862 was a war between the United States and various bands of the Dakota/Sioux Nations. It was brought on by various treaty violations and ultimately ended with the mass execution of 38 Dakota warriors and the Dakota’s banishment from their homelands in Minnesota. Armed conflict between the United States and the Dakota people wouldn’t end until the 1890 Massacre at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.




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, 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.

Friday, July 20, 2018, Civil War Music – Come to the Museum to listen to My Little Red Canoe, a music group that focuses on Civil War music and mixes singing with storytelling.

Friday, August 17, 2018 Families – Take a tour of the new exhibit, For Honor and Family: Three Families in the Civil War. Then create your own scrapbook page to be added to your family’s heirlooms.

The Grand Review: A Celebration of the Civil War Museum’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday, June 23, 2018; 10am-4pm

Come celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Civil War Museum with a day of music and theater, a living history encampment, and family activities and games that are based on the science of the Civil War. Plus free admission all day.

Performance Schedule:
10:15am – You Are A Soldier. Join Civil War reenactor Steve Acker as he shows off the uniform, equipment, and gear of a Union Soldier. His family-friendly, interactive program will challenge the audience to decide what they would need to survive eight months of camping, marching, eating and soldiering while trying not to overburden themselves with unnecessary stuff.

11:15am – The Battlefield Balladeers. Songs and music of the American Civil War. The repertoire consists of the patriotic, sentimental and comic songs of the period along with minstrel favorites and the melodies of Stephen Foster.

12:10pm – Cordelia Harvey–First Lady of Wisconsin. During part of the Civil War, Cordelia Harvey visited sick and wounded soldiers in camps and hospitals up and down the Mississippi River. What she saw convinced her of the need for military hospitals in Wisconsin. This first person narrative ends with her dramatic attempt to persuade President Lincoln to allow it.

1:10pm – Harriet Tubman–My Untold Story performed by Kathryn Harris. Linking the past with the present, Kathryn Harris portrays the former slave who, after winning her own freedom, became a conductor on the Underground Railroad in the mid-1800s. In numerous trips back into the South, Harriet Tubman helped more than 300 slaves, including her own parents, escape to the North. After the Civil War broke out, she worked for the Union as a cook, a nurse, and even a spy.

2:10pm – My Little Red Canoe. Keryn Moriyah & Lia McCoo, two accomplished singers, musicians and presenters, celebrate the voices of women and people of color in the melodies of the Civil War era. Sing along and tap your feet to the harmonies, sometimes rolling and deep; sometimes light and soaring; as wide as a river and powerful enough to lift a room full of human spirit!

3:30pm – The Kenosha Pops. Traditional military, patriotic, and big band favorites abound during this festive indoor concert.

Forged in Blood: How the Iron Brigade Earned its Metallic Moniker

Saturday, June 30, 2018; 1pm

Author Eric Schlehlein will share the story of the more than 5,000 Wisconsinites, Hoosiers, and Wolverines who served in the Iron Brigade during the Civil War. This brigade would go on to suffer the highest percentage of casualties of any Union brigade during the war. Copies of Mr. Schlehlein’s book, Black Iron Mercy, will be available for purchase and signing.


Museum Crawl

Friday, July 13, 2018; 6pm-10pm | $40 ($30 FOM) For adults 21+ only. Registration required and tickets sell out quickly. Register here.

Get ready for the 8th Annual progressive party at the Museums! Sample delicious food and beer from local establishments. View amazing exhibits. Listen to awesome live music, and play crazy games.

Restaurant Sponsors: Capt. Mike’s, Franks Diner, Trolley Dogs, Mike’s Sportsbook, Sazzy B, The Garage, The Buzz Cafe, La Fogata Mexican Grill, Waterfront Warehouse.

Dessert Sponsors: Robin’s Nest Cakery, Elsie Mae’s, Mike’s Donuts & Chicken

Beer Sponsors: PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co, Rustic Road Brewing Co, R’Noggin’ Brewing Co, CJW

Park and sign in at the Public Museum, then take the streetcar to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum to start the party. Streetcars will then take everyone to the Civil War Museum between 7pm-7:30pm.

Friends of the Museums Annual Art Fair

Sunday, July 15, 2018; 10am-5pm

Listen to live music, and grab lunch or a snack, as you peruse and purchase beautiful works of art from outdoor and indoor booths. Kids, stop by the Museums’ Art Tent to create your own artwork to take home.

Are you an artist? Submit a 2018 exhibitor application today. 2018 Exhibitor Application


KUSD Summer Student Art Show

Sunday, July 15-Sunday, July 22, 2018 | Location: Civil War Museum

See hundreds of student art projects on display in the Civil War Museum lobby.




A Perfect Hell of Blood: The Battle of the Crater

Saturday, July 21, 2018; 2pm | Location: Kenosha Public Museum

Author A. Wilson Greene, whose new book, A Campaign of Giants: The Battle for Petersburg, covers the first six weeks of the Petersburg Campaign, will discuss the battle of the Crater, explore the nature of General William Mahone’s attacks, and offer insights into the motivation for the atrocities that followed. Greene’s book will be available for purchase and signing.


21st Annual Pike River Rendezvous

Saturday, August 4, 2018; 9am-5pm
Sunday, August 5, 2018; 9am-4pm
Location: Simmons Island, Kenosha

Step back in time to the Fur Trade Era when American Indians and fur traders gathered to exchange goods and services. Watch more than 300 reenactors, craft and trade demonstrations, musical entertainment, and juggling. There are games, activities and entertainment for all ages. Parking in Kennedy Park with free horse-drawn wagon shuttle.

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.