CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN, June 28, 2009— The Civil War is a major part of American history that all students have read about. But how often do they truly get to experience the sights and sounds of that tumultuous time?
The scent of campfires and the sounds of Stephen Foster songs will fill the air once again at the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum for its annual Civil War Encampment weekend, July 11 and 12. The Museum’s partnership with the Mid States Living History Association, Inc. allows visitors to get a rare chance to dig deeper into the experience of life as one of General Wallace’s rank-and-file soldiers.
Mid States, an Indianapolis-based group comprised of living history interpreters from throughout the Midwest, will present several activities on the Museum grounds over the course of the weekend that offer a greater insight into life as a Civil War soldier or civilian. In addition to live demonstrations of camp cooking, construction, medical care, music, telegraphy and artillery training, visitors will have the chance to interact with General Wallace himself, listening in as he reflects on the controversial battle of Shiloh and his innovative defense of Cincinnati.
“Our Encampment weekends are always popular,” said Acting Director Amanda Wesselmann. “It’s an immersive experience that lets visitors really appreciate what General Wallace and his soldiers had to endure during the Civil War, much more so than they could just by reading a book or sitting in history class.”
The live activities include “School of the Piece,” an instructional training exercise for cannoneers that demonstrates the degree of textbook and practical training required to function on the field of battle. Visitors will also be invited to participate in infantry training drills using toy “Woodfield” (wooden) rifles. Demonstrations in Civil War-era medical care, camp construction and cooking will also be held throughout the weekend.
On the evening of July 11, guests can experience the Civil War re-enactors preparing dinner and readying their tents for nightfall on the lush Museum grounds during their twilight tours of the encampment. “It’s a unique view of the Museum—and of Civil War life—that very few visitors get to see,” said Wesselmann.
Visitors are invited to experience the live drama of the Civil War during extended hours on Saturday, July 11 from 2:00 – 9:00 p.m. and during regular hours on Sunday, July 12 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville. For further information, contact the Museum at 765-362-5769 or email [email protected].