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


Second Friday Lunchbox Lecture Series

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Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the series is a free program sponsored by the Milwaukee Civil War Roundtable and Iron Brigade Association.

Bring your lunch or purchase snacks and beverages from the Museum’s gift shop.


The Story of Illinois Soldier Jennie Hodgers
Friday, September 12, 2014; Noon – Freedom Hall

Presented by Mr. Frank Crawford. Much has been written about Jennie Hodgers/Albert D.J. Cashier that is true–and much more has been written about her/him that is not.

By using more than twenty letters that “Albert” received during the war, Mr. Crawford has gleaned a better understanding of this fascinating small soldier of the Civil War who served in the 95th Illinois.

The Prairie Lawyer and the Clarinet Player: Music at the Gettysburg Address
Friday, October 10, 2014; Noon – Freedom Hall

Presented by Mr. Ed Pierce. Lincoln’s part in the great cemetery dedication of 1863 is a story well told. This program shows how music of the Marine Band contributed to the success of the dedication.

Ozaukee County Civil War Draft Riot of 1862
Friday, November 14, 2014; Noon – Freedom Hall

Presented by Mr. Allen Bucholz. In November 1862, residents of Ozaukee County who opposed the draft attacked the draft commissioner and did significant damage to the city of Port Washington, Wisconsin.

This program covers the cause, the riot, the aftermath, and a few significant contributions made by Ozaukee soldiers during the war.


7th Annual Civil War Forum – 1864: Hard and Total War

Saturday, September 13, 2014; 8:30am-3:30pm | Forum #0420355407 | $60 ($50 FOM) Includes lunch and admission to Fiery Trial | Register

Covering topics from 1864!

Here’s a summary of speakers and topics:

  • International Views of Lincoln in 1864 by Dr. James Cornelius, curator of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
  • Life of a Late War Regiment: The 36th Wisconsin 1864-1865 by Mr. Steve Acker
  • The Atlanta Campaign – From Dalton to Kennesaw by Mr. Greg Biggs
  • One Drop in a Sea of Blue: Liberators of the 9th Minnesota Infantry by Mr. John Lundstrom

Learn more details about speakers and topics

International Factors in the 1864 Election Dr. James Cornelius

Not only did people around the world have opinions of Lincoln by 1864, but their own political and cultural activities acted upon Lincoln’s life and campaign in 1864, perhaps more so than in any other year.  Dr. Cornelius will address some of the better-known aspects of the story – Maximilian’s arrival in Mexico that year and ongoing diplomacy with Great Britain – as well as some of the lesser-known ripples that reached U.S. shores: how did Denmark, the Vatican, Shakespeare, and an Italian assassin in London figure in?

The Atlanta Campaign: From Dalton To the First Kennesaw Line; May-June 1864 Mr. Greg Biggs

The campaign for Atlanta is arguably the one that won the Civil War for the Union. The campaign’s successful conclusion in September 1864 ensured the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln and proved to the Northern populace that his war was indeed being won.  This was in stark contrast to the events in Virginia in the same time frame were the slaughter of Union troops continued with little to show for it.  Three armies commanded by General William T. Sherman moved into north Georgia under orders to destroy the Confederate Army of Tennessee and break up Georgia’s ability to wage war.  Georgia was supplying most of the food used by Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, many of its cannons and small arms, and all of its gunpowder which made it a major military target.  Atlanta, with four major railroads, was a huge supply hub and transportation center.  This program will deal with the personalities, politics, strategic planning, and the battles from Dalton through the first Kennesaw Line as well as the mistakes of both commanders.

Life of a Late War Regiment: The 36th Wisconsin 1864-1865 Mr. Steve Acker

As U.S. Grant’s army prepared to attack the Mule Shoe of Spotsylvania, a fresh regiment of Wisconsin soldiers, led by a veteran of the Iron Brigade, left its home state bound for Washington City and the war. In less than a month that regiment saw the elephant of combat, lost its colonel, and suffered hundreds of causalities. From the first hint of combat at North Anna to Appomattox, the 36th Wisconsin Infantry illustrates the life of a late war regiment fighting in Virginia. Using the vivid memories of veterans of the regiment as his guide, Mr. Acker’s talk follows the 36th from their early days in Camp Randall to the final muster in 1865.

One Drop in a Sea of Blue: Liberators of the 9th Minnesota Infantry Mr. John Lundstrom

One Drop in a Sea of Blue is the story of the Ninth Minnesota throughout the entire Civil War. After a humiliating defeat at Brice’s Crossroads, Mississippi, many soldiers from the 9th were held at Andersonville and other notorious Confederate prisons, where they suffered a death rate exceeding 60 percent. Yet the regiment also helped destroy the Confederate Army of Tennessee at Nashville and capture Mobile. With vital details won through assiduous research, Mr. Lundstrom uncovers the true stories of ordinary men who lived and died in extraordinary times.

Claiming Lincoln: Progressivism, Equality, and the Battle for Lincoln’s Legacy in Presidential Rhetoric

Wednesday, September 17, 2014; 7pm

Dr. Jason Jividen of Saint Vincent College delivers a Constitution Day lecture on the attempt of progressive and modern liberal US presidents to appropriate the Lincoln image into their political rhetoric.

This is a free event sponsored by Carthage College History Department and the Jack Miller Center.

A Soldier’s Life

A Soldier's LifeSaturday, September 20, 2014; Noon-4pm

Check out these family-friendly reenactors in character as Civil War soldiers. Ask them about their gear, Civil War battles, and what it took to be a Civil War soldier. Join us at noon for a 45-minute interactive presentation designed for families or just stop by anytime after that to chat. Admission is free.

Sponsored by the Kenosha Garden Railroad Society.


Living History Saturday

September 20, 2014; 1pm-4pm

Have you ever wanted to meet or talk to a Civil War soldier? What would you ask? Why did they volunteer; what was the food like; what was it like to wear those uniforms all summer; did they really march twenty miles a day?

Expert Civil War reenactors answer these questions and more as they interact with visitors.

Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander and Chief

author James McPhersonWednesday, October 8, 2014
Social Hour and Dinner at 5:30pm; Program at 7pm

Event #0920839406 | Dinner and Program $45 ($35 FOM) | Program Only – Suggestion $5 donation at the door

Presented by Dr. James McPherson. The Museum welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. James McPherson for a dinner, program, and book signing for his latest work Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander and Chief.  Dr. McPherson’s new book is a powerful new reckoning with Jefferson Davis as military commander of the Confederacy.

First edition copies will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Advance registration is required for dinner but not for the program.


BoofestSaturday, October 25, 2014; 1-4pm

The Museums have plenty of activities to get you in the Halloween spirit!

  • Kenosha Public Museum – Make a trick or treat bag, learn about your bones and owl pellets, then go on a scavenger haunt.
  • Dinosaur Discovery Museum – Explore dinosaur mummies and go on a spooky dinosaur scavenger hunt.
  • Civil War Museum – Paint a pumpkin.

Plus, wear your costume and trick or treat at all three Museums. This is a free event.

Lincoln and the Power of the Press

author Harold HolzerThursday, October 30, 2014; Public reception at 6pm and Program at 7pm
Free with suggested $5 donation at the door

The Museum welcomes author and Lincoln scholar Mr. Harold Holzer for a program and book signing for his latest work Lincoln and the Power of the Press. This new book explores how Lincoln both used and silenced the press to speak directly to the people and shape the opinion of the nation.

First edition copies will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Advance registration is not required.

Veterans Heritage Day

veterans heritage daySaturday, November 8, 2014; 11am-4pm

Visit with veterans as they display memorabilia from all branches of service. A soldiers and veterans brick dedication will begin at 11am.

Here is information about ordering a brick in honor or memory of a veteran or soldier.

Freemasonry and the Civil War: Fraternal Brothers Across the Lines

Masonic logoSunday, November 16, 2014; 1:30pm

Presented by Armistead-Bingham Lodge 1862 Civil War Masonic Lodge of Research under the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin. During the Civil War, Freemasons on both sides laid down their weapons to help each other. Learn how Masons on the battlefields, on the back roads, and in graveyards were united wearing both the Blue and the Gray.