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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.


Third Man on the Monument: The Life of Howard Cushing
Friday, May 13, 2016; Noon

Presented by James Heinz. Howard Cushing  has always been overshadowed by his more famous brothers William and Alonzo. Born in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Howard had a distinguished Civil War career. He stayed in the Army after the war, only to be killed in an ambush by Geronimo. Learn how Howard and Alonzo served in the same unit and are connected to a Milwaukee high school and why Howard inspired “Star Wars” and much of modern science fiction.

The 19th Indiana Color Guard at Gettysburg
Friday, June 10, 2016; Noon

Presented by Phil Spaugy. The 19th Indiana fought alongside the other four regiments of the Iron Brigade at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, losing 72 percent of those engaged. Mr. Spaugy’s talk encompasses both the morning and afternoon phases of the action with an emphasis on telling the stories of the men of the 19th who carried the regimental colors on that fateful day.

First Ladies Tea: Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Kennedy

First Ladies TeaSaturday, May 7, 2016; 1pm
$35 ($25 FOM) | Register Here

Join historical interpreters Laura Keyes and Leslie Godard as they bring Mary Todd Lincoln and Jacqueline Kennedy to life in an imagined meeting at the Smithsonian Museum’s First Ladies exhibition. Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Kennedy reminisce about living in the White House, negotiating the role of First Lady and the challenges they endured after their husbands’ deaths.

Train Extravaganza Weekend

Train ExtravaganzaSaturday, May 21, 10am-5pm and Sunday, May 22, Noon-4pm | Civil War Museum and Kenosha Public Museum

All makes of model trains will be on display throughout the Museums.

Sponsored by Kenosha Garden Railroad Society


Lincoln’s Unorthodox Inaugural Train Journey

Lincoln TrainSaturday, May 21, 2016; 1pm

Presented by Steve Rogstad. A 1,900 mile train trip was arranged to take President-Elect Abraham Lincoln from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington over a two-week period. Some historians  have called the trip “Lincoln’s journey to greatness;” others refer to it as “thirteen desperate days.” This lecture focuses on this unusual train journey, analyzes speeches Lincoln gave to audiences along the way, the assassination attempt that almost claimed his life in Baltimore, and how his unceremonious and clandestine arrival in the nation’s capital plagued his image during the nation’s greatest crisis.

A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1849

Blumenthal LectureWednesday, May 25, 2016; 7pm

Join author Sidney BlumenthalSidney Blumenthal is the former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. He has been a national staff reporter for The Washington Post, Washington editor and staff writer for The New Yorker, senior writer for The New Republic, and has contributed to numerous other publicatoins. His books include the bestselling The Clinton Wars, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment, and The Permanent Campaign. Among his films, he was the executive producer of the Academy Award- and Emmy-winning Taxi to the Dark Side. Born and raised in Illinois, he lives in Washington, DC. for a presentation and book signing about the first in a multi-volume history of Abraham Lincoln as a political genius–from his obscure beginnings to his presidency, assassination, and the overthrow of his dreams of Reconstruction. This first volume begins with Lincoln’s painful childhood when he thought of himself as his father’s slave and traces the emergence of the man we recognize as Abraham Lincoln.


Civil War Surgeon Archibald S. Maxwell

Archibald MaxwellThursday, June 2, 2016; Noon

George C. Maxwell, Esq., great-great-great grandson of Dr. Archibald S. Maxwell discusses the part that Dr. Maxwell played in two volunteer medical missions sent by the citizens of Davenport, Iowa to provide medical aid and assistance to wounded and sick soldiers following the Battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh. He will discuss  how the city’s citizens organized to support the medical aid missions, what conditions Dr. Maxwell and others reported finding, and what Dr. Maxwell and others did to treat the wounded and sick soldiers.

Salute to Freedom

Fight At BarricadeSaturday, June 11, 2016; 10am-4pm and Sunday, June 12, 2016; 11am-3pm

Celebrate some of the finest Civil War soldiers of the Midwest – the famous Iron Brigade. March, cook, and drill with these men and find out what made them truly “giants in battle.”



Here is what the two-day event will feature.

Infantry tactics, marching and drill

Artillery demonstrations

Musical entertainment

Firing demonstrations and skirmishing

Camp and cooking demonstrations

Civil War field hospital and medical displays

Home front and civilian demonstrations

Special exhibits

A fundraiser and pie auction benefiting the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative

Family games and activities

Check back for an updated schedule of events.

Teaching the Civil War

Thursday, July 21, 2016; 8:30am-4:30pm
$40 ($30 FOM) | Register Here

This one-day seminar utilizes the resources and collections of the Civil War Museum as well as successful programs developed by teachers to provide a framework for teaching the Civil War in the classroom. Program topics include: techniques for teaching slavery and the Underground Railroad; using living history presentations in the classroom; the power of primary sources and museum objects; and destinations for Civil War field trips.

Here are more details.

The 9th Annual Great Lakes Civil War Forum

Saturday, September 10, 2016
$60 ($50 FOM) | Register Here

Here are the details.

Nashville and Middle Tennessee Civil War Sites

October 23-26, 2016

From Sunday, October 23, to Wednesday, October 26, the Civil War Museum will be sponsoring a motor coach tour of the principle Civil War sites of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Our expert guides will take the group to Fort Donelson, Stones River National Battlefield Park, Franklin, and Civil War sites within the city limits of Nashville. The price for the trip includes all hotel accommodations, meals, motor coaches, guides, and park fees.

Hurry, space is limited and there is a price incentive to sign up before April 3, 2016. Here is a detailed itinerary and pricing. To reserve your place, call the Museum at 262-653-4141.