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



Details about Classes can be found here.

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.



Sons of ThunderSons of Thunder: A History of Battery H, First Illinois Light Artillery
January 9, 2015; Noon

Presented by Dave Oberg, Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum executive director
Discuss the storied history of Battery H of the First Illinois Light Artillery who participated in campaigns including Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, Atlanta and the March to the Sea. Most men who served with the Battery were born overseas and 40 percent were Swedish immigrants.


General ThomasGeneral Thomas and the Battle of Nashville
February 13, 2015; Noon

Presented by Jerry Kowalski as General George H. Thomas
Union General George Henry Thomas’ defeat of John Bell Hood and the Army of Tennessee at Nashville in the winter of 1864 crushed the Confederates’ desire and ability to make war in the west. The complete victory by Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland certainly contributed to the coming end of the war. Hear this first person program as the General remembers the campaign that kept the Army of Northern Virginia from receiving assistance from the West.

The Other Civil War Prisoner Camps in Illinois
March 13, 2015; Noon

Presented by Trevor Steinbach
During the Civil War one out of every four Confederate prisoners were held in an Illinois prison camp. Mr. Steinbach’s program details the truths and myths of the Illinois camps including the one that “detained” Ashley Wilkes in the book Gone With The Wind. Learn about the soldier that died a prisoner and was “discovered” to be a woman from Tennessee and the “dead” prisoner that visited his Illinois grave monument 30 years after the war.

Victorian Christmas

Victorian Christmas at Civil War MuseumSaturday, December 13, 2014; 11am-4pm

An afternoon of songs, programs, crafts, and activities exploring how soldiers and civilians celebrated the Christmas season during the Civil War. This is a free family event.



Here is the schedule for Victorian Christmas

11am-4pm – Civil War soldiers in winter camp, pack and send a Civil War care package via the Adams Express Company; Victorian-era family holiday crafts and treats

11am and 2 pm – Period dances and instruction with the West Side Victorian Dancers

Noon – “Laura Ingalls Wilder: Christmas on the Prairie,” a first-person performance by Laura Keyes.

1pm – Civil War Christmas Singers. Members of the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraterity performs a musical program based on stories, letters, and songs of Civil War soldiers. The group will perform well-known carols and Civil War songs such as Battle Cry of Freedom and Johnny Comes Marching Home

1:45pm – A visit from Victorian-era Santa

3pm – “Making the Man: Mid-Nineteenth Century Menswear and Accessories” by Nanci Gasiel. Learn what Civil War-era men wore when at work, at home with family, or out in the farm field.

Charles Dickens Festival

Charles Dickens FestivalSunday, December 14, 2014; 1pm-4pm

  • A Christmas Carol” radio play by RG Productions
  • Dickens Women” performance by Jessica Michna
  • Victorian chef demonstration by Ray Forgianni
  • Caroling by Southeast Wisconsin Performing Arts


Lincoln Lore Discussion Group

Wednesdays, Noon-1pm

Discuss topics brought forth in the Civil War Museum’s collection of Lincoln Lore Bulletins, first published by the Louis A. Warren Lincoln Library and Museum in 1928.

The Lincoln Lore Bulletins to be discussed at each session are:

January 14, 2015 – Lincoln and His Family
January 28, 2015 – Foreign View of Lincoln
February 11, 2015 – Lincoln Material Culture and Artifacts
February 25, 2015 – Lincoln the Laywer
March 11, 2015 – Lincoln the Congressman
March 25, 2015 – Lincoln’s Co-Workers and Staff

Civil War Museum Movie Night: Santa Fe Trail

Movie Night - Santa Fe TrailFriday, January 23, 2015; 6:30pm – Civil War Museum | Event #0720719106 | $10 ($5 FOM) | Register Using Paper

The 1940 movie is the epic story of Jeb Stuart, his romance with Kit Carson Holliday, friendship with George Custer, and battles against John Brown in the days leading up to the outbreak of the American Civil War. The movie stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Haviland, Raymond Massey, and Ronald Reagan. Includes unlimited popcorn and a beverage.

Register Online Here

When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again: Iron Brigade Veterans and Peace

Iron BrigadeSaturday, January 31, 2015; 1pm

The returning soldiers of the Iron Brigade came home to an uncertain future. Some came back with mental and physical ailments of which they were unaware. Others returned missing an arm or leg or other injury. Home had changed in the four years they were away.

Author Lance Herdegen tells what happened to some of them and how they coped and came to accept their Civil War experiences.

Behind the Scenes Tour of Seeing the Elephant

Wednesday, February 25, 2015; 6:30pm-8pm | Class #0620853106 | $15 ($10 FOM) | Register Using Paper

Civil War Museum curator, Doug Dammann, takes you on a behind the scenes tour of the Civil War Museum’s new 360° film, Seeing the Elephant.

Look at the complete story of how the film was created from script development, to shooting and editing, to final installation and preparation of the gallery.

Register Online Here

Civil War Medical Weekend and Women in Science and History Day

Saturday, March 14, 2015; 10am-4pm
Sunday, March 15, 2015; Noon-4pm

A weekend of living history, programs, and exhibits commemorating the role of physicians, nurses, and caregivers during the Civil War. Watch surgeons and nurses of the 17th Corps demonstrate bullet removal, brain surgery, and amputation. Role play as a sick soldier during a sick call demonstration, and participate in a medical inspection for new recruits.

Here are details about Saturday's presentations:

1pm – A Recipe for Success: Lizzie Kander and The Settlement Cookbook. First published in 1901, The Settlement Cookbook: The Way to a Man’s Heart taught thousands of young immigrant girls how to cook “American-style.” It became one of the most successful fund raising cookbooks in history, and the proceeds helped build Milwaukee’s first settlement house and later the Jewish Community Center.

Author Bob Kann shares stories about Lizzie, her cookbook, and life in Milwaukee during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. Participants are encouraged to bring their own Settlement Cookbook to the presentation.

3pm – Civil War Nurse Mary Ann Bickerdyke. Before the Civil War, Mary Ann Bickerdyke, a widow from Galesburg, Illinois, struggled with her family to survive. During the war she became one of the Union Army’s most trusted and beloved nurses and hospital administrators. This presentation gives you an insight into the driving force that kept this feisty woman with the Union Army until the end of the war, and was called “the woman that outranked General Sherman.” Presented by Helen Miam.

Here are Women in Science and History activities at Kenosha Public Museum.

The Civil War Expo

Saturday, March 21, 2015; 10am-3pm

Living history, heritage, and round table groups present information and samples of their programs throughout the Museum.


1pm – William W. Robinson, Colonel of the 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Learn about Col. Robinson’s service in the Iron Brigade in this program performed by his descendent, Paul Johnson.

2:30pm – A Musical Concert by the Old Soldier Fiddlers

The Old Soldier Fiddlers brings the songs of the Civil War to life with fiddles, banjos, and sing-alongs.

2nd Annual Great Lakes Home Front Seminar – Exploring the Civilian Experience During the Civil War Era

Saturday, April 11, 2015; Registration 8:30am-9:30am, last lecture ends at 3:30pm | Class # 0420776-107 | $60 ($50 FOM), including lunch | Register Using Paper

Register Online Here

Antietam Campaign Tour

Dunker ChurchOctober 18-21, 2015

We are embarking on a multi-day tour of the sites and battlefields of the 1862 Antietam Campaign!

Tour highlights include:

o  Chartered transportation from the base hotel to all historic sites
Programs and guided tours with park historians, authors, and licensed guides
o  All hotel arrangements and meals included in the tour

Here is information about the cost of the tour, an itinerary, and a registration form.