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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 Kenosha Companies: Companies H & I of the 33rd Wisconsin Infantry
June 12, 2015, Noon-1pm

Presented by Bob Braun. The 33rd Wisconsin was organized at Racine, Wisconsin, and mustered into Federal service October 18, 1862. Many of the men from Companies H and I called the Kenosha area home. Hear the story of their Western Theater experiences which included the Vicksburg and Red River Campaigns and the Battle of Nashville.

Firearms Technology During the Civil War
July 10, 2015; Noon-1pm

Presented by David Stavlo. Gunsmith David Stavlo has been buying, selling, repairing, and restoring original Civil War-era firearms on a full-time basis for five years. During this program, Mr. Stavlo will discuss the evolution of firearms during the Civil War from flintlocks and outdated technology during the beginning of the war to the modern self-contained cartridge and repeating rifle used at the end. His talk will be illustrated by original display pieces and images.

The Story of Camp Douglas, Chicago’s Forgotten Civil War Prison
August 14, 2015; Noon-1pm

Presented by David Keller. Mr. Keller provides a history of the Camp Douglas prison camp based on stories from diaries and journals of Confederate prisoners. The presentation includes information on conditions and loss of life at the camp, current status of the camp’s site, and work done by the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation to provide a lasting remembrance of the camp.

The Blackhat Discussion Group

Blackhat GroupWednesdays, Noon-1pm

Free public discussions on topics from the Museum’s collection of The Blackhat. First published in 1983 by members of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteers, the bulletins pertain to the Iron Brigade.

The Blackhats to be discussed at each session are listed below. Here are links for downloading each session’s The Blackhat.

April 8 – Early Days of the Iron Brigade
April 22 – Blackhat Biographies
May 6 – Rufus Dawes, 6th Wisconsin
May 20 – Battles and Skirmishes of the Iron Brigade

Remembrance Field: A Civil War Memorial Project

civil war remembrance fieldMay 11-June 15, 2015 – North of the Civil War Museum parking lot

From 1861 to 1865 the Upper Midwest – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin – sent 734,408 men to war; 104,145 perished during their service. Remembrance Field is a visual representation of the loss of life suffered during the Civil War. Each of the 1,042 stakes in the memorial represents the loss of 100 men from the Upper Midwest. Walk by, drive by, and stop by to pay tribute to the souls that paid the price to preserve the Union.


MPTV Presents: Next Avenue

Monday, May 18, 2015; 6pm – Civil War Museum

Join Milwaukee Public TV host, Mark Siegrist, for a discussion on “Active Grandparenting” including information on how to give advice without crossing the line, fun activities to do with your grandchildren, and if needed, how to become the primary caregiver. Here is more information, including how to RSVP for this free event.

Guest speakers include the Kenosha Public Museums own Nancy Mathews, and Chris Hribal from Kenosha’s Division of Aging and Disability Services.

The Rise of George Armstrong Custer, 1861-1865

The Rise of George Armstrong CusterThursday, May 21; 2015; Dinner 5:30pm/Presentation 7pm | Dinner & Program Event #0720870206 – $45 ($35 FOM) | Program Only Event #0720871206 $15 ($10 FOM) | Register

Presented by Gregory UrwinDr. Urwin is a prize-winning author and a professor at Temple University, Philadelphia, where he specializes in American and British military history from the War of Independence to World War II. His first book, Custer Victorious: The Civil War Battles of General George Armstrong Custer, appeared in 1983, and he has published 8 others since then, along with more than 100 articles and essays. Dr. Urwin has appeared in many historical documentaries and worked as an historical consultant and extra in the 1989 film Glory., Temple University. George Armstrong Custer is forever remembered for his catastrophic defeat at the Battle of the LIttle Bighorn. But he first rocketed to national fame more than a dozen years earlier during the Civil War. Ranked last in the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of June 1861, Custer reported to the front in time to participate in the First Battle of Bull Run. In less than two years, he received a promotion to brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers, becoming the youngest general in the Union army. Dr. Urwin’s program tells the story of the Boy General’s Civil War career identifying the elements of his spectacular success before he turned 25.

Train Extravaganza Weekend

Train ExtravaganzaSaturday, May 30, 2015; 10am-5pm
Sunday, May 31, 2015; Noon-4pm

All makes of model trains on display throughout the Civil War Museum and Kenosha Public Museum. Sponsored by Kenosha Garden Railroad Society.



The United States Military Railroad

MilitaryRailroadSaturday, May 30, 2015; 1pm

Presented by David E. Myers. Learn about the creation and development of the U.S. Military Railroads and the Railway Construction Corps. The Civil War was the first time warfare made extensive use of the transportation capabilities railroads offered. The visual program will show 60 photographs of the U.S.M.R.R. taken by Captain Andrew Russell, whose original photos documenting the railroad now exist in the collection of the National Archives.


The Fateful Lightning, Jeff Shaara

The fateful lightningThursday, June 11, 2015; Noon | Open to the Public, $5 Suggested Donation at the Door

From New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara comes the riveting final installment in the Civil War series that began with A Blaze of Glory and continued in A Chain of Thunder and The Smoke at Dawn.

During this program, author Jeff Shaara describes the concluding novel of his epic Civil War tetralogy, a dramatic story of the final eight months of battle in Georgia and the Carolinas from multiple perspectives. Through General William T. Sherman’s eyes, we gain insight into the mind of the general who vowed to “make Georgia howl” until it surrendered. In Joseph E. Johnston, we see a man agonizing over the limits of his army’s power, and accepting the burden of leading the last desperate effort to ensure the survival of the Confederacy.

The Civil War did not end quietly. It climaxed in a storm of fury that lay waste to everything in its path. The Fateful Lightning brings to life those final brutal, bloody months of fighting with you-are-there immediacy, grounded in the meticulous research that readers have come to expect from Jeff Shaara.

8th Annual A Salute to Freedom: 1865, Homeward Bound

Salute to FreedomSaturday June 13, 2015; 10am-4pm

A day of encampments, living history programs, demonstrations, performances, games, food, music, and fun to celebrate soldiers’ return home from war.



Here are schedule details for A Salute to Freedom


Outside Activities: Music by the Regimental Volunteer Band, artillery demos by Cushing’s Battery, bugle demos, Union Infantry encampment and demos, “Fill the Wagon” donation drive to benefit Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.

Indoor Activities: Soldier’s Fair, games, crafts, pie sale, storytelling.

11am:  Eagle and Friends program presented by the Schlitz Audubon Society

Noon: Welcome Home Celebration for the troops with marching, music, and patriotic speeches.

1pm: Hattie’s War program and book signing with authors Hilda and Emily Demuth.

2pm: Exhibition match between Milwaukee Cream Citys Base Ball Club and the Chicago Salmon. After the game, take fielding and batting practice with the Cream Citys!

4pm:  Kenosha Pops concert

2pm-4pm: Communicty picnic and games


5th Annual Museum Crawl

Museum CrawlFriday, July 10, 2015; 6pm-10pm | Event #0920620304 | $35 ($25 FOM) | Adults 21 and over only |Register using paper

See the Museums in a new light at an adults-only progressive party.

  • Savor food from Franks Diner, Mangia Wine Bar, and Capt. Mike’s.
  • Drink specially selected beers from Public Craft Brewing Co., Rustic Road Brewery, and CJW.
  • Enjoy music from Roxie Beane, Matt Meyer, and Real Deal.
  • Plus, play games, see cool exhibits, and hang out with old and new friends.

Tickets go fast. Register today!

Select FOM or Non-Member

Songs of the Civil War

Saturday, July 25, 2015; 1pm

Battlefield BalladeersPerformed by the Battlefield Balladeers. Acoustic instruments bring to life the songs of the Blue and Gray. Each selection begins with an explanation of why the song was popular or important using quotes of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Frederick Douglass, Mary Chestnut, and Mark Twain. The audience is encouraged to sing along and clap as the Battlefield Balladeers celebrate the pageantry and music of America’s Civil War.

This is a free program sponsored by the Milwaukee Civil War Round Table and Iron Brigade Association.


A Saturday Afternoon with the Harmony Cornet Band

Harmony Cornet BandSaturday, August 22, 2015; 3pm

The Harmony Cornet Band will take you back to a bygone Saturday evening in small town Wisconsin just after the Civil War. Folks came into town from all over to gather in friendship to hear the latest in band music and the refined culture that came with it. Join us for music that will make you smile and hum on the way home.



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

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.