Sesquicentennial News Briefs
(as printed in the)
February/March 2011 Issue
Civil War News

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Updated 2/15/2011

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February/March 2011

Charleston Events
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Fort Sumter National Monument has scheduled special programs at the fort, Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter Education Center in Charleston from April 9-17. Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum is also hosting programs from April 9-16.
From April 9-14 Union reenactors will portray Cos. E and H of the 1st U.S. Artillery in living history programs at Fort Sumter.

Confederate reenactors will represent Co. B, South Carolina Artillery Battalion, and the Palmetto Guard infantrymen who moved into the fort after the garrison surrendered on April 14, 1861.

At Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island Confederate reenactors will represent the units stationed at the fort and island in 1861. They will give living history programs on the weekends of April 9-10 and 16-17. On those weekends Confederate and civilian reenactors will give living history programs at the Concord Street education center.

At Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant, which overlooks Forts Sumter, Johnson and Moultrie, civilian and military encampments, artillery firing and various demonstrations are scheduled.

For National Park Service information call (843) 883-2123 or go to For Patriots Point, go to

Chicago Symposium
CHICAGO, Ill. — Eight Illinois civic organizations are hosting a March 4 Lincoln Symposium featuring five Lincoln scholars, artifact exhibit and book signings at the Union League of Chicago.
The all-day program celebrates Abraham Lincoln’s March 4, 1861, inauguration and his vision, wisdom and determination to preserve the Federal union. C-SPAN will record the talks for later broadcast.

The symposium will include a luncheon and private tour of the Special Collections of the Chicago Public Library at the Harold Washington Library.

Speakers include Illinois State Historian Dr. Thomas F. Schwartz and authors Dr. David Zarefsky, Dr. Michael Burlingame, Dr. Douglas L. Wilson and Daniel Weinberg.

Symposium hosts are: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Library, Civil War Round Table of Chicago, Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Newberry Library, Pritzker Military Library and Union League Club of Chicago.

Registration can be made for the full day or lunch and afternoon sessions at $45 or lunch only for $30. Union League guest rooms are available.

Registration information and payment or credit card information should be sent to the Public Affairs Office, Union League of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604. For information call (312) 435-5946.

Johns Hopkins Class
BALTIMORE, Md. — Johns Hopkins University is commemorating the 150th with a noncredit Civil War class "The War for a Nation: New Perspectives." It will feature historians giving original illustrated presentations about their current research and interpretations.

The seven classes will run Thursdays, March 10-April 28, except March 24, from 7:30-9 p.m.
For information, call (410) 516-4842 or visit

Gettysburg Kick-Off
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Through 2015, Gettysburg will remember the Civil War with a variety of reenactments, living histories, tours, remembrances and the opening of a new museum in Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary’s Schmucker Hall on Seminary Ridge.

The borough will kick off its commemorations on April 29 and 30 with troops marching into Gettysburg, encampments at historic sites, skirmishes and the firing of 150 cannon shots.

Gettysburg’s weekend is part of the "Invasion of Pennsylvania" series of April events that include Greencastle, Chambersburg and Fairfield. For information, call (800) 337-5015 or visit

Lake County Programs
WAUCONDA, Ill. — The Lake County Discovery Museum is commemorating the 150th with a series of special events starting with an exhibit.

The "Civil War High Tech" exhibit from Feb. 5 to Aug. 21 will explore how the Civil War was influenced by such technological advances as submarines, reconnaissance balloons, ironclad ships and railroads.

On Feb. 21 from 10-4 the museum will host a day of activities, presentations and interactive exhibits. Programs the next four months will be about Harriet Tubman, medical innovations, how the war changed food in America and Lake County in the Civil War.

Sesquicentennial events will end with the museum’s 20th annual Civil War Days on July 9 and 10. It will feature military reenactors, musicians, medical personnel and civilians with a large-scale battle each day.

For more information call (847) 968-3400 or go to

Harrisburg Exhibits
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The National Civil War Museum recently opened a five-year series of year-long exhibits focusing on each year of the Civil War.

The "1861" exhibit includes the inaugurations of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, the road to secession, the Baltimore riot and Lincoln’s call for troops.

In addition the museum will open changing exhibits in March and September.

On Feb. 22 the museum will host a 1 p.m. program commemorating president-elect Abraham Lincoln’s Feb. 22, 1860, visit to Harrisburg while en route from Springfield, Ill., to Washington.
For information call (717) 260-1861, or visit

Appomattox Talks
APPOMATTOX, Va. — Museum of the Confederacy and National Park Service staffers will present a series of free monthly Civil War Conversations in downtown Appomattox during the sesquicentennial.

The Civil War Conversations will be held upstairs at Baine’s Books and Coffee on Main Street from 12:15 to 12:45 on the second Wednesday of each month.

The Feb. 9 talk will be about the Feb. 4, 1861, meeting of seven seceded states in Montgomery where the Confederate constitution was written. Future topics include railroads, Virginia’s secession and the role of women.

For information contact Linda Lipscomb at (804) 649-1861 x32, or Bert Dunkerly at (434) 352-8987 x31, People who would like event reminders may register at

Alabama Events
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Associated Press reported that hundreds of reenactors will parade to the state capitol on Feb. 19 as they recreate the Feb. 18, 1861, march of militia units and citizens to see Jefferson Davis sworn in as Confederate president on the capitol’s steps.

The Confederate flag will be raised on a nearby flagpole, recreating the March 1861 raising of the flag from the capitol dome.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is planning the event. Spokesman Thomas Strain Jr. said they are trying to present a historical account of what happened, not create a controversy.
Black leaders are planning a protest nearby, similar to that held outside the December Secession Ball in Charleston.

James Island’s Firing
JAMES ISLAND, S.C. — At 6:45 a.m. on April 12, the Town of James Island, in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, will host a ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter.

On that morning Capt. George S. James, commanding Co. C, South Carolina Battalion of Artillery, fired a signal shell from a 10-inch seacoast mortar at the Beach Battery at Fort Johnson on James Island to signal the beginning of the Confederate bombardment.

The commemoration will include the firing of an 1840 10-inch seacoast mortar. The free event is open by ticket ordered by email at and limited to no more than four tickets. Include name and mailing address. Tickets will be mailed with directions and program information.

Cherokee Tours
TULSA, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism March-October season will include April 2 and 16 tours commemorating the Civil War 150th.

The tours will begin at historic Capitol Square in Tahlequah where Confederate Brig. Gen. Stand Watie’s troops burned the Cherokee government buildings.

Guests will visit the Murrell Home, the only antebellum plantation home left in Oklahoma and one of the few in the area to survive fire during the war. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief John Ross signed allegiance to the Confederate States at the house.

At Fort Gibson Historic Site visitors will learn how it changed hands several times during the war. Honey Springs Battlefield was site of the largest battle in Indian Territory. The Union victory was the turning point of the Civil War in Indian Territory.

For ticket and additional information call (877) 779-6977 or visit

Pennsylvania Tour
CARLISLE, Pa. — The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau has published a self-guided tour brochure titled "The Civil War on the West Shore."

It covers an area of Pennsylvania whose residents joined the Union army, gave sanctuary to runaway slaves and participants in John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and witnessed the Confederate invasion.
The tour includes eight sites in Lemoyne, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg. The brochure includes a map and biographies of six major participants. For information call (888) 513-5130 or visit

Illinois Web Site
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A new Web site that lists 150th anniversary events in Illinois to 2015 was recently launched at

The site includes a time line of Illinois and the Civil War with illustrations, images and documents; downloadable PDFs of articles; curriculum materials for teacher; suggestions for further reading; and a monthly feature.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which operates all state-owned historic sites and memorials as well as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, developed the on-line calendar in cooperation with Save Illinois History.

The Agency’s Civil War-related sites also include the Ulysses S. Grant Home and Elihu Washburne House in Galena; the Stephen A. Douglas Tomb in Chicago; the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington; the Old State Capitol and Lincoln Tomb in Springfield; and Metamora Courthouse. For information, visit

Lincoln’s Inaugural Trip
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Park Service is sponsoring programming that will commemorate the 150th anniversary of President-elect Abraham Lincoln’s trip from Springfield, Ill., to Washington, D.C., from Feb. 11-23 by revisiting 16 cities and towns at which Lincoln made remarks.

They are Springfield, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Westfield, Buffalo, Albany, Peekskill and New York, N.Y.; Trenton, N.J.; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa.; Baltimore, Md.; and Washington.

The programming will include National Park Service rangers and Lincoln actor Fritz Klein, who will present what Lincoln said in each community as he tried to reassure a nation on the verge of Civil War.
Details on what is happening in at each stop can be found at

Information about "Civil War to Civil Rights: A National Digital History Project for High School Students" is also being offered. For information visit

Three-State Trail
Information about Civil War sites in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina is available at the Civil War Heritage Trails Web site, The trails link battle, cultural, social and political sites.

The site offers brochures, maps, videos, music, coming events, links and blog pages, as well as a newsletter.