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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.


The Lincoln Family Post-Assassination
Friday, September 11, 2015; Noon-1pm

Presented by Steve Rogstad. After the assassination of their beloved father and husband, how did the remaining members of the Lincoln family move on from the tragedy? Lincoln author and scholar Steve Rogstad takes a look at the Lincoln family post-April 15, 1865.

John Brown: The Spark that Ignited Civil War
Friday, October 9, 2015; Noon-1pm

Presented by Dennis Frye. John Brown is one of the most polarizing figures in American history. Saint or madman? Murderer or liberator? Terrorist or freedom fighter? Listen to what Dennis Frye, head historian at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, has to say about the man.

Gone with the Wind and the Construction of Civil War Memory
Friday, November 13, 2015

Presented by Leslie Goddard. Seventy-six years after its premiere, Gone with the Wind continues to inspire both passionate devotion and academic criticism. One historian has called it “almost certainly the single most powerful influence on American perceptions of the Civil War.”

In this slide lecture about the history of the movie, we’ll consider both the accuracy of its portrayal of the American Civil War and its lasting influence in shaping popular understanding of Civil War history. What accounts for this film’s widespread – and enduring – popularity among viewers? Does Gone with the Wind still matter in scholarly and popular conversations about the Civil War?

8th Annual Great Lakes Civil War Forum: 1865 – Melt, Melt Away Ye Armies

Great Lakes Civil War ForumSaturday, September 12, 2015; Registration 8:30am, first speaker at 9:30am; catered lunch included | Event #0420355408 | $60 Non-Member ($50 FOM) | Register

Here are speaker and presentation details.

Select FOM or Non-Member

Public Exhibit Reception
Hollywood Presents: The Civil War and Post-Civil War Westward Expansion

Sunday, September 27, 2015; 1pm-3pm

Stop by the Civil War Museum for the official opening reception of the exhibit.

The Civil War Amendments

Between 1865 and 1870, the United States passed the Civil War Amendments, or as they are usually called, the Reconstruction Amendments, which include the Thirteenth (1865), Fourteenth (1868), and Fifteenth (1870) Amendments. Some historians have argued that these Amendments helped to transform the United States from a nation that was “half slave and half free,” while others argued that these Amendments did little more than perpetuate “slavery by another name.”

Please download the pre-discussion reading materials here:

Fourteenth Amendment:
South Carolina
Fourteenth Amendment, Part 1
Fourteenth Amendment, Part 2
Evening Telegraph, “Passage of the Fourteenth Amendment by the Senate”
“Journal of the Senate,” Andrew Johnson

Discussion Groups: Wednesdays, October 7 and 21, 2015; Noon-1pm

Two discussion sessions, based upon historical documents from the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Supreme Court decisions will enable participants to discover the extent to which the Reconstruction Amendments have contributed to freedom and liberty in the United States.

Please download the discussion materials for October 7, 2015:

Thirteenth Amendment:
Seward Proclamation Part 1
Seward Proclamation Part 2
Prescott [Wisconsin] Journal, “The Amendment”
The North Western Times, “Free America”
Wisconsin State Register, “Passage of the Constitutional Amendment”
New-York Tribune, “Freedom Triumphant”

Public Lecture: Wednesday, October 28, 2015; 7pm

Dr. Eric Pullin, Carthage College history department, gives a public lecture on the historical impact on American society of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.

Antietam Campaign Tour

Antietam Campaign TourOctober 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.


Boofest2Saturday, October 24, 2015; 1pm-4pm

Wear your costume and trick or treat at the Museums! Sponsored by the Friends of the Museums.

Activities at all three locations:

Civil War Museum
Paint a pumpkin
Build a box fort
30-minute, guided lantern/flashlight tour of exhibit at 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm (free for children in costume and their parents)

Kenosha Public Museum
Go on a scavenger hunt
Make a trick or treat bag

Dinosaur Discovery Museum
Test your courage feeling dino body parts
Participate in a haunted dino excavation

Troops and T-Walls

Saturday, November 7, 2015; 1pm

Dr. Michael McBride discusses the significance of the cement walls in Iraq and how troops adopted, decorated, and incorporated the walls into their lives. Dr. McBride is a psychiatrist at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee and a major in the Army Reserves who has served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.


 The Grand Army’s Grand Legacy

The Grand ArmyWednesday, November 11, 2015; Noon

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was the first modern veterans’ organization, formed in 1866 and lasting for the next 90 years. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Past Commander-in-Chief Steve Michaels describes the patriotic activities of the GAR, its political initiatives, and what these mean for our society today.